My theory is maybe they only allow them to go when there is demand for it?
What we see along hwy 41 brings up another point of wind power that is often ignored. Once a trubine becomes obsolete through technological displacement or mechanical insufficiency there follows another cost of teardown, transport and disposal. The alternative to teardown is just leaving the turbine there as nothing more than an eye blot upon the landscape.
So long as we understand that the idea of free energy from the wind or sun should not be part of our pop culture mythology.
If it is working for you, I am glad.
"Secondary question, why would a "large" company be interested in small wind turbine projects? Doesn't make sense to me?"
We are always looking for "green" projects. It is good story for the shareholders, media and overall a good corporate citizen (even though the main stream media is out the say every large company is just in it for the high profits). We are constantly looking at ways to improve our lighting, heating/cooling cost and energy - that is where wind turbines came into play. Generally speaking, ANY project that has a 30-35% IRR is funded in our company. "Green" projects only need a 10% IRR and the turbine project did not even reach that hurdle. Again, a few years back, so maybe the technology has improved.
Your second question/point: "I installed a small vertical axis wind turbine on my property with a grant. It has paid itself back three fold in five years. Most here know me as fairly conservative. You certainly can believe what you wish. "
Do I believe you have a turbine that has paid for itself - sure. But if you did not pay out of pocket full expenses, that is not a fair comparison. From what you stated, you received a "grant". I am assuming from the government, ie, taxpayers. From my experience, wind technology does not stand on its own from a payback standpoint. If someone, or a company would like to put their OWN money into this technology, I could care less. My issue is the tax dollars that go into it. If I could not see the payback on the project I was working and I have my doubts that any of these projects pay out on their own without subsidies, but could be wrong.
I am always a data guy, so if there is data to back it up great. Not saying there isn't, I just have not seen it with my own eyes.
I know some small factory's out in the country who have put a couple small ones up. It has worked out real well for them.
Yet, on the public dollar (aka, taxpayers) we are funding these things left and right. Just does not make sense.