Economics of household wind turbine grid-tied systems for five wind resource levels and alternative grid pricing rates

Publication date: August 2017Source:Renewable Energy, Volume 109
Author(s): Ahmad F. Ghaith, Francis M. Epplin, R. Scott Frazier
Households in the USA state of Oklahoma serviced by investor owned electric utilities that have smart meters may select to be charged based on either a traditional meter rate schedule, a smart meter schedule, or they may install a household grid-tied wind turbine and be subject to a different rate schedule. The objective of the research was to determine the economic consequences of installing microgeneration grid-tied wind turbine systems (6 kW; 10 kW) given alternative pricing structures for households at five unique locations with different wind resources. Twenty years of hourly wind speed data, and hourly electricity use data for representative households, were obtained for each location. The annual household electricity cost among the five locations ranged from $894 to $1199 for the smart meter rates and $870–$1191 for the traditional meter rates. The estimated annual cost of $5389 for the least costly household grid-tied 6 kW wind turbine system, is five times greater than the annual cost of purchasing from the grid. If external consequences of electricity generation and distribution are ignored, given current and proposed rate structures and prices, household wind turbine electricity generation systems are not economically competitive in the region.

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