Factors to Consider Before Starting a Small Wind Renewable Energy Project 
Power is one of the most important elements in your life. Ameren makes it easy to never have to worry about quality, price or reliability.

As someone who has chosen to learn more about how to act as an independent energy generator, you need to be sure to ask all the right questions before you begin - find accurate answers from expert sources, then plan carefully.

    You can lower your electric bills and help the environment by improving the energy efficiency of your home. In many cases, it may be more cost-effective to reduce your energy use than to install your own generator. If you do install a generator, you will get the most out of your system by using its output efficiently.
    <ul><li>A location where your wind system will have clear, unobstructed exposure to wind flow year-round.</li> <li>An assessment of wind resources, since wind power is highly site specific. Most systems require average sustained winds of at least 12 miles per hour. Wind Resource Maps are available from the <a href="http://www.nrel.gov/wind/" target ="blank">National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) website</a>.</li> <li>A relatively large area to accommodate the turbine. Wind turbines are generally not suitable for urban or suburban home sites.</li></ul>
    Customers are responsible for designing, installing, operating and maintaining their own equipment in accordance with all codes, laws and regulations. For example, your system must meet local building codes and zoning laws and you may need permits or special approval from your community or homeowners' association.
    <ul><li>Start by reviewing your typical energy usage by looking at your past electric bills. By reviewing your typical energy usage, you can decide how much power you want to generate yourself, bearing in mind that your wind system will only operate when wind is available. Log in with eCustomer to review your past bills.</li> <li>Dealers and installers can provide you with cost estimates and may also help you size your system. To locate a dealer and installer, consult your telephone directory or check the <a href="http://www.awea.org/" target="blank">American Wind Energy Association website</a>.</li></ul>
    <ul><li>How many years of experience do they have installing systems?</li> <li>How many installations have they done in your area?</li> <li>Are they properly licensed and certified?</li> <li>What warranties do they provide?</li> <li>How will routine maintenance and repairs be handled?</li></ul>
    <ul><li>Installation (labor) <li>Permits</li> <li>Support structure(s)</li> <li>Protective equipment required to interconnect with the utility company's system</li> <li>Wiring</li> <li>Metering</li> <li>Inverter</li> <li>Batteries and other options</li> <li>Sales tax</li> <li>Extended warranties</li> <li>Additional project costs</li></ul>
    <ul><li>Routine maintenance</li> <li>Repairs not covered by warranty</li> <li>Property taxes (check with your taxing authority to see if exemptions are available)</li> <li>Liability insurance</li></ul>
    <ul> <li>You can choose to operate your generator either as a stand-alone system or in parallel with the utility company.</li> <li>A stand-alone system requires a double-throw transfer switch that isolates your generator from the utility company's system. The transfer switch ensures that you are receiving power only from your generator or only from the utility, not both at the same time. Power from your generator would not back feed into the utility company's system.</li> <li>Since wind systems generate electricity intermittently (and not necessarily at the same times you want to use it), you will probably want to include a battery bank in a stand-alone system. The batteries will supply power to your home or business whenever it is needed, and will be recharged when wind is available. Battery systems can be very expensive; wind system installers can help you estimate the costs.</li> <li>If you choose parallel operation, your installation will be designed to accommodate two-way power flow, also known as Net Metering. When the output of your generator exceeds what is being used in the home or business, the excess power flows back into the utility company's system. This type of installation avoids the cost of a battery system, but involves additional costs for interconnection, as well as the cost of metering for the excess power sent back to the utility company.</li></ul>
    Find information about <a href="/Solar/Pages/NetMetering.aspx">Ameren's Net Metering Program</a>.
    <ul><li>You must contact Ameren Missouri and allow them to review the interconnection design.</li> <li>If you intend to operate your system in parallel with the Ameren Missouri system, Ameren Missouri must review your project before operation to determine whether your project could adversely affect the safety, reliability or quality of local electric utility service.</li> <li>Ameren Missouri's review of your project shall not be construed as confirming or endorsing the project design or as any warranty of safety, durability or reliability of the project.</li> </ul>
    <ul> <li>In Illinois, call 888.327.2477 or <a href="mailto:renewablesillinois@ameren.com">email us</a>.<br/></li> <li>In Missouri, call 314.554.2646 or <a href="mailto:lcosgrove@ameren.com">email us</a>.</li> </ul>
wind power, wind systems, wind project
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