Northwest Renewable News

Your Daily Source for Renewable Energy News in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana & Northern California

Great Falls man harnesses wind power for business September 9, 2009

Filed under: Farm/Ranch,Montana,Wind — nwrenewablenews @ 6:08 pm
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You don’t have to drive to a wind farm to see Montana’s potential energy future – in fact, you may just have to look over at your neighbor’s yard.

Scott Palmer founded Wind Power of Montana, a wind turbine business in Great Falls, and business is good – he’s already installed 15 across Montana. Palmer said, “I’ve always had an interest in wind power, in alternative energy. And we got one of the greatest natural resources in the world here: wind!”

When it comes to setting up a customer with a wind turbine, Palmer says, “We actually do a wind study. We have a wind meter that we can bring out and we actually stand it up in the air to find out the clearest view of every direction.”

They sell a wide range of sizes and prices, all the way up to $15,000, but with incentives and tax credits, a wind turbine could pay for itself in just a few years.

Palmer noted that the energy meter for one of his customers barely moves, and said, “The only charge they have right now is the five-dollar meter charge that they pay every month regardless whether they use any consumption or not.”

It can take a few weeks to get one going, and while interest is peaking across the state, there are rules that limit who can install a wind turbine on their land.

Palmer explained, “The city of Great Falls really made some giant strides to let turbines come into the city limits. But the setback rules can really eliminate a lot of people from being able to put them in their backyards.”

But for those who can, Palmer offers this advice: “Go green!”

Wind Power of Montana plans to start construction on what is believed to be the first commercial wind turbine in Great Falls city limits next week. –


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