We often get asked the question; "why small wind turbines?"
It's a good question! Here’s a few quick points:
Its undeniable that our world is speeding towards a future powered by renewable energy. The cost to install and operate renewable energy technologies is plummeting. We are seeing the widespread adoption of solar PV and battery technology for storage. For many remote sites small wind turbines are a natural fit for saving on diesel costs and CO2 emissions.
For many off-grid or remote sites space restrictions can be a real pain. For example leasing additional land for telecommunications can be expensive. Locations in state forests or national parks can have restricted footprint, if vegetation clearing is not possible. Small wind turbines can save this footprint, especially if they are mounted to existing towers or telecommunications infrastructure.
Wind energy can generate at night or in cloudy conditions making it complementary to solar PV. For sites that need extended battery autonomy small wind turbines can be a great way of support solar PV at night or during extended periods of clouds, or rain and wind.
The last point is an important one, and is most strikingly illustrated by the plot of the output of a solar farm and a wind farm across 2019. The daily trend of solar PV becomes immediately evident. The output of wind may appear chaotic, but the advantage of wind is that it is not correlated to the solar resource, protecting you from risks of your solar PV generation portfolio. This can save on having to over-specify solar PV modules or batteries.