Indian River Inlet, DE: Standing at about 45 feet tall, two new wind turbines turn steadily in a stiff breeze at Delaware Seashore State Park. One turbine provides power to the Center for the Inland Bays and the other is connected to the cottages at Indian River Marina.
Thursday, 20 August, Governor Jack Markell, Senator Tom Carper, Congressman Mike Castle, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, State Parks’ officials and other dignitaries visited the CIB to recognize the recently completed wind energy project.
“This wind turbine partnership represents another way that the State of Delaware is leading by example as we accelerate towards a new energy future for our state and nation,” Governor Markell said. “These projects will tangibly demonstrate to visitors the crucial role that we each can play in protecting our environment and strengthening our economy by adopting renewable energy systems.”
“The Inland Bays are a treasure that must be protected,” said Secretary O’Mara. “Harnessing clean, renewable energy sources will create new economic opportunities while showing residents and visitors that it is possible to reduce pollution that adversely affects air and water quality, as well as harms the health and welfare of local residents. This project will serve as an important symbol that clean power is critical to the state’s environmental and economic future.”
Parks’Director Charles Salkin said, “Our role is to educate visitors about the importance of protecting and preserving Delaware’s natural resources. We want our visitors at Delaware Seashore State Park to get excited about wind energy. We also see this as a first step towards several larger projects that will enhance the environmental benefits and reduce the costs of our Park operations.”
The Center for the Inland Bays and the Division of Parks and Recreation selected Flexera Energy to participate in the wind energy demonstration project. Flexera completed installation of the Skystream 3.7 utility-connected, horizontal axis turbines in mid-July. The turbines have a 12-foot rotor diameter and an average rated capacity of 2.4 kilowatts. Each turbine is projected to generate about 5,600 kWh of power annually in average daily winds of 12 mph. This renewable energy production equals a projected offset of about 28,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
“Flexera is very excited to have had the opportunity to install these two wind turbines at the Indian River Inlet. These elegant machines willl be supplying power to the Center for the Inland Bays and State Park for many years to come. In addition the turbines will be an important educational resource for the people of Delmarva, demonstrating the viability of wind power as an environmentally friendly and economically competitive power source for Coastal Delaware. This is a great example of how government initiative, nonprofit research, the public good and private enterprise are all converging to create a new green economy in Delaware,” said Ben Farr, Vice President of Flexera Energy.
Ed Lewandowski, CIB Executive Director, said, “This project has been a terrific fit fr our location in that wind is something that we deal with just about every day at Indian River Inlet< it's great to see it finally put to some productive use. It's also a wonderful complement to the 11.0 KW solar energy system that we had installed at our headquarters facility. We hope to inspire other local businesses and homeowners to do whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint."
The CIB used a 2005 State Bond Bill appropriation to cover the project costs. Since its opening three years ago, the Center’s headquarters has served as a demonstration facility for environmentally-friendly design and operation.
John J. Donato, Flexera’s renewable energy specialist explained to Hoy en Delaware the wind turbines’ technical specifications.
The wind turbines installed called “Skystream 3.7”. With a rated capacity of 2.4 kW, a rotor diameter of 12 ft. and a weight of 170 lb the Skystream 3.7® is a fully integrated, utility-connected wind generator designed specifically for homes and small businesses.
The horizontal axis turbine has a 12 foot diameter, which will produce 450+ average kilowatt hours a month in average daily winds of 12 mph.
“The most important part of the wind turbine is the base” explained us Mr. Donato.
The base is solidly constructed of reinforced concrete and rebar making it stable in winds over 110 mph. the hub is set on a sturdy, heavyweight steel shaft which provides a balanced and firm setting for optimum production and quiet operation. With a rated capacity of 2.4 kW, Skystream can provide anywhere from 40%-90% of a household’s or small business’s total energy needs.
John J. Donato who explained to Hoy en Delaware in an easily way the wind turbine’s operation, concluded his explanations, remembering us: “As an iceberg, the most important part in a wind turbine is in base, just we can’t see.”