During lunch I was reading the WSJ and found this article from February.http://greenenergy.reno.gov/energy/
FEBRUARY 28, 2011. It's Turbine vs. Turbine in Reno.
The wind of northwest Nevada, Mark Twain once wrote, "is by no means a trifling matter." But does harnessing its energy make economic sense? The city of Reno plans to find out.
Reno has installed nine wind turbines—each a different make or model—at four spots around town. Instruments on the turbines continuously measure wind speed and energy production, and all of the data are posted online at greenenergy.reno.gov/energy/.
The goal: To give consumers an in-depth look at how each turbine performs—and how that performance compares with manufacturers' promises.
The City of Reno
Two designs in downtown Reno. The research project won't definitively conclude which turbine is the most efficient, because output varies so much by location. But shoppers will be able to compare three models side by side on the grounds of the city's water-treatment plant, or the two set up in Mira Loma Park. They'll also be able to see which turbines work best in which wind conditions.
And the city plans to post the repair and maintenance costs for each model, which shouldn't be affected by location.
"There's been no independent certification of turbines, so consumers are at the mercy of the manufacturers," says Jason Geddes, Reno's environmental-services administrator. "We want to put up this data so anybody can actually see what these turbines are doing, real-time and historically."
Reno is also creating an online map of wind speeds and directions across the region, so residents can estimate how much energy they might be able to produce by putting a turbine on their property.
Mr. Geddes expects the research project to expand soon beyond the nine turbines the city installed, at a cost of $530,000. Several manufacturers have offered to donate turbines to the study. And some residents would like to hook up their personal turbines, as well.