Sunday has become my chill to da blog kinda day. I still deliver SHTF madness straight to your monitor, but c’mon. It’s Sunday! Writing total TEOTWAWKI lovin’ 7 days a week is enough to make anyone want to huddle in a corner and cradle canned goods.
Today I’m posting a Blackwater press release. It came out at the end of ’07, but I just learned of it. They’ve purchased a wind turbine for their digs in North Carolina. Scope the press release below and see all their press releases here.
The stats on the turbine set up are interesting. I see more and more news reports on small, local government buildings installing wind turbines. Makes sense to me. As energy prices rise, the economics make more sense; as global warming becomes a bigger concern, no emissions sounds great; and as SHTF approaches, having municipal buildings able to operate grid-down only makes sense.
Blackwater Harnesses Wind Energy
By Eric R. Poole
The state of North Carolina has long been known for farming and Blackwater Worldwide is introducing a new crop, wind. Well, Blackwater isn’t exactly farming wind but the ten-year-old firm known for its training and contracting will be generating electricity by means of harnessing wind energy through a wind turbine. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Blackwater’s headquarters in Moyock, N.C. is expected by March 1, 2008.
Ted Vogel, alternative energy officer for Blackwater’s renewable energy program states, “This will be the largest grid-connected wind turbine in the state and the first for a commercial, light industrial location. “This will be the largest wind turbine by a factor of 20, with a rated capacity of 50 kilowatts. The nearest turbine at the Coquina Beach Bathhouse, a parks and recreation area, has a generation capacity of only 2.5 kilowatts. The turbine chosen for Blackwater’s needs is manufactured by Entegrity Wind Systems of Canada.
Blackwater was granted a special use permit at a hearing by Camden county commissioners on November 19th. This project has drawn many letters of support and advice from local conservation and renewable energy leaders including the N.C. Coastal Wind Working Group, North Carolina Audubon Society, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and the North Carolina Solar Center. Blackwater has promoted and encouraged appropriate legislation on wind turbines that benefit the local business economy as well as residential applications of wind energy technologies on the North Carolina Coast.
The North Carolina Solar Center at N.C. State University has expressed interest in working with Blackwater to gather data regarding power output. “They have programs on anything having to do with renewable energy. We have discussed setting up a web site that will permit tracking and real time data sampling on wind energy projects in North Carolina.”
Not only does Blackwater look to benefit by lowering its $40,000-a-month power bill, but they hope to train and teach other potential benefactors about installation of renewable energy in businesses and homes. Blackwater is living up to its name with expectations of growing this technology in a new business format. “Wind energy is an undervalued resource and we are planning to introduce wind and additional renewable technologies to private and governmental clients in the coming months,” Vogel states. We have had interest from several nations where business operations are already in place,” he adds.
How much of an investment is a wind turbine? While every installation varies based on location, a 50 kilowatt wind turbine installed in the United States can range from $155,000 to $210,000 per unit. International applications tend to cost more for materials but less in labor.
What sounds like an expensive way to save money works for growing companies like Blackwater. “This type of application causes the power meter to spin slower. Annual savings is estimated at $9,000 and $11,000.” With a turbine in place, Blackwater will also be eligible for a 35 percent state investment tax credit. If the proposed federal tax credit of 30 percent is passed into law, the overall tax advantage for commercial installations like that at Blackwater averages between 50 to 55 percent of the installed cost in North Carolina. Without the federal investment tax credit (ITC), payoff for the system is around 12 year. With a life expectancy of nearly 40 years, that translates to more than $280,000 in energy savings at today’s price of electricity.
Unless standing directly under or behind it, the turbine is no louder than a refrigerator. One effect in particular that most will never notice is the 4,000,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses that will never be put into the atmosphere, a benefit of wind turbine systems. “Smaller wind energy systems like ours can have an impact on climate change that many people never realize,” Vogel suggests.
This project should come at no surprise to the government, especially when one considers that the Department of Defense has been challenged with sourcing 25 percent of its power from renewable energy at all stateside installations by 2025. As the government looks to meet this goal, they can look to Blackwater for assistance in placing wind energy in more locations. Wind energy has the potential to help stabilize areas around the world that are currently strained for power like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other remote locations. Places such as these currently rely heavily on increasingly expensive diesel fuel power generation.
With planned completion of Blackwater’s first wind turbine slated to happen before the end of 2007, the winds of change are blowing in North Carolina.
– Ranger Man