Sunday, November 6, 2011

Smart grid in Washington state

I was pleased when the Fox Islands Electrical Coop organized its smart grid experiment using electric storage heaters to soak up excess wind power and use it to heat island homes, offsetting expensive heat oil use. I had hoped for such a scheme to be extended to other Maine homes via CMP or Bangor Hydro.

Actually, what I really wanted was my own grid-tied Vestas V-15 wind power plant. The V-15 is a second-hand turbine widely available from refurbishers. I would have used much of the power it could produce behind the meter in a dump-load mode, feeding it into my own home heat and possibly an electric car. But that will have to wait for the repeal of the Jackson wind turbine ordinance.

(I tend to see it as inevitable that Mainers eventually realize that wind power is cheaper than oil for heating homes and running cars, and repeal all the restrictive ordinances that have recently been passed. In most cases only a minority of townsfolk voted for the ordinances, because special town meetings were always used. Everyone knows that only the folk that are interested in a measure show up to special town meetings to vote. Eventually, the folks that were left out of the decision will realize how much was left on the table in the form of new tax dollars and cheaper heat and transportation, and we'll begin to repeal these ordinance or modify them.)

In the meantime, here's another state that has figured out that wind power is great for heating homes.

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