Answer blowin’ in the wind? Video and booklet offer help

A new video and booklet offer information to farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners interested in harnessing wind power.

The video and booklet — titled “Colorado Wind Energy Installation Guide for Agriculture and Rural Applications” — explains how to evaluate the wind energy potential for a site, select the right wind turbine and tower for that site and then install and use a new wind power system. Partially funded by a Colorado Department of Agriculture Advancing Colorado Renewable Energy grant, the video and booklet offer resources to guide agricultural producers and rural landowners through the process of identifying and installing the most cost-effective systems for their operations. That process begins with the most important variable — determining the average wind speed at a specific geographic site. The video and booklet cover the three phases of wind projects: economic feasibility determination, pre-installation preparation and installation and commissioning. The video and booklet cover such topics as site preparation, soil testing, foundation engineering, grid interconnection and permitting.

The materials are tailored for small wind applications — systems with installed capacity of 25 kilowatts or less — but also are relevant for larger installations.

Produced by Brink, an environmental consulting company based in Erie, the video and booklet follow the steps involved in an actual wind energy demonstration project —a 10-kilowatt turbine mounted on a 120-foot-high tower that was installed at a feedlot and farm southeast of Limon in Eastern Colorado.

The video and booklet can be viewed online by visiting the website at www.colorado.gov/ag/energy and clicking on “Delta Wind Energy” or logging on to the website at www.deltawindenergy.com. A hard copy of the booklet can be obtained from local conservation district offices or by calling (720) 887-9944.