Our new Windspire vertical axis wind turbine is up and spinning on the hill at Hunt Country Vineyards! I will be at the winery on October 9th for the dedication of the Windspire. We will also be introducing the newest winery addition, which features heavy insulation, in-floor heating capability, automated tank cooling, and energy efficient lighting, and has already resulted in a substantial drop in energy usage.
Our 30 foot tall Windspire produces 1.2 kW of power. Mariah Power manufactures Windspires in Michigan, in a refurbished auto parts plant employing former autoworkers using American materials. The turbine produces 110 volt 60 cycle current, which feeds directly into the residential grid. It has an automatic safety feature whereby it cannot produce power unless the grid is operating. As one of the first Windspire models in operation in New York State, it will be used to demonstrate not only its unique advanced design, but also that small wind turbines can be a graceful part of the farm landscape and can contribute to local self-reliance and regional sustainability.
If you are not familiar with vertical-axis turbines (VAT), they have several appealing attributes: they can produce energy in lighter and shifty air and at less cost than the more common horizontal axis propeller turbines, they are very quiet, and they are not hazardous to birds as the turning blades give the appearance of a solid object for birds to avoid.