I love the Maui lifestyle—I am a bit of a throwback from the old Maui days. I have always had a little of the farmer in me, which I get from my mom’s side of the family. I use to raise my own chickens, love fresh eggs. These days, in my spare time I am into my orchard and my organic garden.
Tiny—my manure machine
So, I was thinking the next step in my journey to being self sufficient was to generate my own power. So, I called my friend, Cliff Ryden, to ask him a few questions. The conversation went as follows:
Me: Cliff, I notice here on Maui homeowners are interested in wind energy. We have some of the highest electrical rates in the nation and we have lots of wind. You specialize in wind turbines in Hawaii. Your company, Blue Pacific Energy, is a Maui based company specializing in wind turbines and solar panels for homes and businesses. So, I know nothing about getting off the grid, can you help me?
Cliff: Steve, one of the first things to consider when deciding on a wind turbine for your home is that wind turbines extract energy from the wind. A windy site will reward you by offsetting much of your home’s electrical usage. The most important first step is to make sure your site has a good wind resource.
Maui, Hawaii Wind Turbines
Me: No problem there Cliff! Haiku, like a lot of areas on Maui, has plenty of wind, so tell me more!
Cliff: Steve, wind maps are a good place to start. Wind maps are available for download from DBEDT for all of the Hawaiian Islands. Choose the 30m wind speed maps. They will provide an annual average wind speed for your site. We don’t recommend installing a turbine in less than a 10 mph average. A 12 mph average is very good and a 14 mph average is great.
Realizing that the wind maps may not reflect the exact wind conditions at your specific location, you may look for other indications that your site has a good wind resource. Can you frequently fly a kite in your yard? Are trees around you ‘flagged’ or shaped by the wind? Do neighbors comment about the constant wind? These are all good indicators that you have a great site for a wind turbine.
Usually, we can determine the available wind resource using the previously mentioned approaches, but if the site is questionable we will go ahead and measure the wind speeds with a device called an anemometer. Ideally, the wind speeds should be measured for at least a few months to gather meaningful data. If your site doesn’t have an adequate wind resource, don’t install a wind turbine. That would be like mounting solar panels in the shade.
We want to use the best tool to utilize the local renewable resources and maximize energy production. If your site does have a good wind resource then installing a wind turbine is likely the best way to maximize energy production. A wind turbine can save you hundreds of dollars every month.
Wind energy is a powerful, clean, low noise, and a low impact way to save money, help the environment, and make use of our local energy resources! The financial case is very strong, current tax credits and the cost of energy makes wind energy on Maui a very good investment. A turbine can also change your outlook on the wind. Suddenly, those windy days just bring a smile to your face.
Maui Wind Turbine & Solar Specialist
Me: Cliff, thanks so much for the lesson in wind turbines. My next step is to get together with you and talk about getting a bid together, and explore wind turbines and solar panels. Another important aspect of wind is windsurfing on Maui. Looks like it might blow this afternoon, what do you say we meet up, rig up, and get a session in this afternoon?
Steven C. Nickens, R(S), GRI, ABR uses his 18 years of local real estate knowledge to assist buyers and sellers in Maui’s most luxurious resort area, Wailea. He is one of the top social media real estate marketers on Maui and uses HawaiiLife.com’s strong Internet presence to bring buyers to your home from around the world.
Until we meet! Aloha,
Steven C. Nickens, R(S), GRI, ABR
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers