This Electric Life


Since the first WIND POWER blog two weeks ago, we have received over 20 phone calls and in person questions about these two systems. It is true that wind power is on the minds of local islanders!

Here is a summary of the questions we have received and answers we compiled:

For ease, Turbine 1 is the tall turbine system on Lopez and Turbine 2 is the round turbine system on Orcas.

Q. What are the sizes in kW of the wind turbines?
A. Turbine 1 is 10 kW and Turbine 2 is 2.5 kW

Q. How much energy per year will the turbines produce?
A. Turbine 1 is estimated to produce 12,000kWh per year.  Turbine 2 is estimated to produce 3,000kWh per year. Our average member uses approximately 800 kWh per month.

Q. How were these turbines permitted?
A. Turbine 1 was very costly and time consuming to permit because of its height at 120 feet. It was the first of its kind to go through the San Juan County permitting process and actually helped pave the way for future wind systems. Turbine 2 was much simpler to permit as the height is only 35 feet.

Q. What is the name of the company that manufactures these turbines and how much do they cost?
A. Turbine 1 is manufactured by Xzeres ( We do not have cost data on these particular systems but a wind turbine of this type and height could be in the neighborhood of $100k. Turbine 2 is manufactured by Home Energy America ( One of these turbines would be in the neighborhood of $20k.

Q. What other resources are at these properties?
A. The Turbine 1 property also as solar PV. The Turbine 2 property has a geothermal heat pump and is planning to add solar PV.

Please direct your additional questions about these wind systems or any renewable energy systems to the OPALCO Energy Services Department at 376-3571 or

Turbine 2

Turbine 1