Winds Of Change - Wind Energy
Wind Turbine Energy

FAQ

How do Skystream Wind Turbines work?
Will Skystream save me money?
Will installing a Skystream help the environment?
Will Skystream create any problems with TV reception?
Is Skystream dangerous to birds?
Is the Skystream loud?
How big is a Skystream wind generator?
Are wind turbines safe?
Are the towers stable?
What happens if there is a power outage?
How does the wind turbine handle winter?
Is it safe for children?
Will a Skystream lower neighboring property values?
Will my utility allow me to hook up a Skystream?
Will my local government allow me to install a Skystream?
Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?
What about towers?

Stimulus Package FAQ

What does the stimulus package mean to me?
How does a tax credit work?
I don’t normally owe taxes – how can I claim the credit?
How do I claim the credit?
Can someone who already owned a Skystream claim credit?
What if I want to buy and install more than one Skystream?
Can I get cash back rather than a tax credit?
Does this incentive work for all small wind systems

What does the stimulus package mean to me?
The entire cost of a Skystream system (plus installation) is reduced by 30 percent provided you have a tax liability over the course of two years. Depending on where you live, you could save even more! States have also implemented rebates for small wind systems which can be used in addition to the Federal credit. Furthermore, in the last two months alone, more than 30 States have introduced legislation that either expands incentives for renewable energy and/or addresses market barriers. Learn more at http://www.skystreamenergy.com/incentives. (top)

How does a tax credit work?
Typically, a tax credit is money that you can deduct from any money owed to the federal government at tax time (tax liability). The small wind tax credit can be carried over two years after the product is installed. For more information on how to take advantage of the credit, we suggest that you speak to a tax specialist. (top)

I don’t normally owe taxes – how can I claim the credit?
You can only claim the credit based on what you would owe in taxes (your tax liability after two years.) If you do not normally receive a refund, you may want to consult with a tax attorney to understand better what opportunities are available to you. (top)

How do I claim the credit?
You will be required to file the long form and itemize your deductions. The IRS form 5695 must be completed and filed with your taxes. The current form does not reflect the changes to the most recent legislation. (top)

Can someone who already owned a Skystream claim credit?
If you purchased a Skystream in 2008, you qualify for the federal-level tax credit, passed as part of the October 2008 bailout legislation, up to $2,400 per wind turbine with a cap of $4000. If you purchased a Skystream in 2008 but your dealer did not install it until 2009, ask your dealer to write a letter indicating that the wind turbine was not “commissioned” became operational 2009, you would qualify for the 30 percent tax incentive in your 2009 filing but could not take it off your 2008 taxes. (top)

What if I want to buy and install more than one Skystream?
The stimulus package allows for a 30 percent tax credit on the total cost of multiple units. There is no cap on the 30 percent tax credit. Businesses may qualify for a grant from the treasury in lieu of a tax credit. (top)

Can I get cash back rather than a tax credit?
Businesses can apply for a grant from the US treasury and rather than a tax credit, receive a cash grant. The details are still being worked out but should be in place by April or May. Keep in touch with your dealer or the manufacturer for more information. (top)

Does this incentive work for all small wind systems
Yes. The incentive is available to all users of small wind systems. (top)

How do Skystream Wind Turbines work?
Skystream is a wind generator installed on top of a tower that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into electricity to be used in a home's electrical system. In a typical residential application, a home is served simultaneously by the Skystream and a local utility. If the wind speeds are below "cut-in speed" (8 mph) there will be no output from the generator and all of the needed power is purchased from the utility. As wind speeds increase, the Skystream's output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the Skystream produces more power than the house needs, the meter spins backwards creating a "credit" that can be used later. All of this is done automatically without any interaction by the homeowner. Batteries are not required with Skystream. (top)

Will Skystream save me money?
Depending on the wind speed average and the amount of energy consumed every month, Skystream typically lowers a household electricity bill by 30% to 80%. The amount of money a Skystream saves you in the long run will depend upon its installed cost, the amount of electricity you use, the average wind speed at your site, and other factors. Costs vary with local conditions and tower height. Most installations range from $12,000 - $18,000. Federal and State incentives can decrease this cost by 30% - 50%.  Skystream is Focus on Energy Certified.   You can learn about all the available incentives by checking our Rebates/Tax Incentives links, or emailing us at info@windsofchangeengery.com , or calling (920)894-2377. (top)

Will installing a Skystream help the environment?
Because Skystream is a renewable energy source, produces no pollution, and uses wind power, you will be offsetting pollution that would have been generated by your utility company. Over its life, the Skystream can offset more than 6000 pounds of global warming pollutants (carbon dioxide and other gases that are associated with global warming) every year. (top)

Will Skystream create any problems with TV reception?
Skystream is extremely quiet and makes a small amount of operating sound similar to the level of a small office. It generally cannot be heard over typical background noise such as the sound of the wind. Skystream does not interfere with TV reception. (top)

Is Skystream dangerous to birds?
While no formal studies have been done, anecdotal evidence indicates that birds occasionally collide with small wind generators as they do with any other type of structure. However, such events are very rare. (top)

Is the Skystream loud?
The sound from a small wind generator typically blends in with common outside sounds like those from cars, airplanes, barking dogs, and wind blowing through the trees.  According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the sound pressure level generated by a small wind generator is in the range of 40-65 decibels, which is quieter than the background noise in a home or office.  Skystream’s sound is unrecognizable over trees blowing in the wind. (top)

How big is a Skystream wind generator?
Skystream small wind generators are installed on towers that don’t look much different than a common light pole.  These poles range from 35-100 feet and have blades 12 feet in diameter. Skystream small wind generator was designed to minimize the visual area and to preserve the horizon. (top)

Are wind turbines safe?
Skystream's design was done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories. As part of this project, extensive computer modeling and field testing was done to ensure a safe design. All of Skystream's testing was done to internationally accepted standards for small wind safety and reliability. (top)

Are the towers stable?
Thousands of small wind generators are installed in the U.S. every year and their safety track record is excellent. Trees are much more likely to fall than a properly installed Skystream, but no setbacks or minimum property sizes are required for trees. (top)

What happens if there is a power outage?
In accordance to IEEE and UL, Skystream will automatically shut down in the event of a power outage, and will not energize a dead power line. This is necessary to protect the utility line repair person. (top)

How does the wind turbine handle winter?
Ice buildup makes Skystream blades less aerodynamic, so that they turn more slowly. Typically, ice will drop to the base of the generator tower and is not dangerous. (top)

Is it safe for children?
In terms of educating children about not climbing structures, a small wind generator should be treated no differently than other climbable structures such as water towers or amateur radio antennas. (top)

Will a Skystream lower neighboring property values?
No. With thousands of small wind generators installed today in the U.S., there has never been any evidence to support this claim. Actually, there are several survey sources that indicate otherwise.  In fact, there are 20,000 small wind generators installed every year, and to date there has been no documented evidence that small wind generators have ever lowered neighborhood property values.  According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a survey of 300 California homeowners conducted for the California Energy Commission found that 50% of homeowners surveyed “would be willing to pay more for a home equipped with solar and wind technology.”  The same study found that 60% of homeowners surveyed “would be more interested in a home that has a renewable energy system already installed versus a home that does not.”  Communication with your neighbors about your plans to install a Skystream is a courtesy that can prevent misperceptions.  Winds of Change can assist in that process. (top)

Will my utility allow me to hook up a Skystream?
Yes. Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small wind energy systems. Winds of Change should be able to help arrange the required utility company approvals. (top)

Will my local government allow me to install a Skystream?
A Skystream is a structure that normally requires a building permit. Zoning regulations often limit the height, placement, and other characteristics of "appurtenant" structures, so a conditional (special) use permit or variance may be necessary.  Winds of Change will assist in this process. (top)

Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?
No. A Skystream can easily be installed at any existing home without the need to change any wiring or appliances. In some cases, the utility will install a second utility meter to measure how much surplus electricity it is receiving from the generator owner. (top)

What about towers?
Towers, as short as 35 feet, are available with Skystream. However in some circumstances, a taller tower may be necessary to raise the generator above turbulence created by obstacles on the ground and/or trees. Wind speed increases with height above ground, and increasing speed increases the amount of energy your generator will produce. Relatively small investments in increased tower height can yield high rates of return in energy production. A rule of thumb for proper and efficient operation of a Skystream suggests that the generator should be 20 feet above the top of anything within 250 feet.  You have to take into consideration approximately 20 years of tree/foliage growth.  Winds of Change will assist you in this process. (top)

 

 

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