NorthWind 100 kW

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Wind?


By producing your own power locally, you will be engaging in alternative energy, helping to support “green” technology, and saving the retail value of your energy costs at the same time.

For many, the cost savings alone make producing local wind power an imperative.


What Makes a Good Wind Turbine Site?


A good site has ample wind and space to place a turbine:


Wind: A Northwind 100 will begin making power at wind speeds as low

as 3 meters per second (6.6 mph). The turbine will continue to make power at increasing levels as the wind increases, but will automatically shut down when wind speeds get up to 25 meters per second (55 mph).

Typically, unobstructed, higher elevation areas comprise a better quality wind site.


Space: Depending on ground conditions, a Northwind 100 installation

requires an area of between 350 and 600 sq. ft. for the foundation

and recommended clearance.

Generally it must be a location that is accessible by crane. An electrical transmission infrastructure, if not already in existence, would also need to be developed.

How much Energy will a 100 Kilowatt Wind Turbine Produce?


A 100kW wind turbine will produce different amounts of electricity based on the average wind speed at your site. The Northwind 100 utilizes advanced turbine technology to ensure excellent energy capture for its size.

For example, if your site has an average wind resource measuring 4 meters per second (8.90 mph) and follows a standard distribution (i.e. a “bell curve” of wind speeds), you can expect the Northwind 100 turbine to produce approximately 70,000 kilowatts hours of energy in a year.


If your average wind speed is 6 meters per second (13.4 mph), the Northwind 100 will produce approximately 214,000 kilowatt hours per year.

Is Wind Power the Right Choice for My Application?


After determining that you have at least a minimum of wind at your site, you will want to consider your main motivations for engaging in wind power. If you care only about being “green,” a specific payback time period is of no concern.

You should then consider erecting a turbine at even the lowest possible average wind speed. If you care only about ROI, you will need to consider the retail costs of your current energy source as well as any incentives available to you: grants, tax incentives, and net metering laws.


Most people fall somewhere in the middle along that continuum of “green” versus “payback,” and require at least a basic idea of payback timing in order to make the decision to move forward.


Why a 100 kW Wind Turbine?


While it produces much more power than is needed by the average home, the Northwind 100 wind turbine is sized perfectly for many schools and universities, small communities, businesses and commercial farms.

It has also been used or years in remote village applications, where diesel power systems supply electricity for the entire grid. In wind-diesel applications, the Northwind 100 saves diesel fuel costs as well as providing a clean, renewable alternative.


How much Energy do I need to Produce for My Site?


Most areas in the United States and many in international markets have net metering laws, which allow individual sites to average out their annual production and get “credit” for what they produce to offset what they use. But there are few places that allow for individuals, organizations, or communities to actually make money by selling excess power back to the utility.


Because of this, and because wind is an intermittent source of power, most people want to match their load (i.e. produce only what they will use in a given year and not more) fairly closely – or even produce a lot less than will be needed – to be sure that no wind power is wasted.


In the case of a Northwind 100, if your facility uses significantly more power than what you expect to produce, you may consider erecting two or more 100kWturbines.


How do I determine My Wind Resource?


There are a number of excellent websites that can help you determine what your wind resource is:


NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has done extensive studies across the United States. You can find their maps at


AWS Truewind has also done extensive work mapping wind resources in the US and internationally. Their maps can be found at


In most cases, the wind maps and modeling technologies that are currently available are extremely accurate.


You can also install an anemometer to determine your wind resource. Some Customers choose to install one for 3 months and then project the annual wind resource from that. Others choose to leave an anemometer up for a full year.


Please note: that even an anemometer installed for a full year will only measure the actual wind resource for that particular time period, and thus its accuracy for projecting future winds will still be burdened with some amount of standard deviation.


What if I have a Low Wind Site?


The Northwind 100 will begin making power with a wind speed of 3-4 meters per second (8.9 mph), although the blades will spin at even lower wind speeds. You will want an annual average wind speed of at least 4 meters per second at hub height for wind power to be a viable option, and even more if you are looking fora competitive Return on Investment (ROI).


Generally, wind is more abundant at higher levels. For this reason, we have developed a low wind tower option for the Northwind 100 that raises the rotor hub height to 37 meters (approximately 121 ft.) above the ground. (Typical tower height is 30 meters – approximately 98 Feet - high.)


In many cases, the extra height is enough to make wind power an attractive option.


How can I determine Return On Investment?


At Eco Depot USA, we have a basic modeling program that will help determine a basic ROI.


It takes into account the Northwind 100’s power curve and assumes a wind profile with a typical distribution around the average windspeed.


You will need to provide three things:


1.Your current cost of energy. Our model allows us to input an average cost (per kilowatt). You can get this information from your utility or figure it out from a year’s worth of utility bills.


2.Your wind resource. The amount of power you can make and your potential payback is a function of how much wind you have at your site. We input your wind data in “meters per second” or in “miles per hour.”


3.The value of incentives available to you. In the US, there is a federal tax incentive, and many states have attractive cash grants and other incentives as well. To find out more about what’s available to you in the United States, you can visit


We will input your three numbers, plus a general cost for turbine and installation, to provide you with a basic payback scenario.


What is a Power Curve?


Every wind turbine has a power curve, which describes the power output at different wind speeds. The Northwind 100 utilizes a permanent magnet generator and gearless design to capture more energy than older turbine designs, which makes its power curve very attractive for a 100kW size.

Why the Northwind 100?


The Northwind 100 represents the latest turbine technology available today, most notably a gearless design and direct-drive architecture for best-in-class energy capture and low maintenance. For applications where the electrical load matches closely with an 85-250kW wind turbine, the Northwind 100 is clearly the best choice.


Many customers with larger electrical loads choose the Northwind 100 for the advanced technology, but also for the lower up-front cost and lower height profile than the 600kW and megawatt-sized machines.

It also allows users to utilize multiple sites, or to start with one or two turbines and scale up at a later time.


How do I Purchase a Northwind 100 for my site?


Erecting a wind turbine at your site requires that you purchase a Turbine, resolve any permitting issues, and that you have someone install and commission it for you.


Northern Power produces and commissions world-class turbines but we rely on our close relationships with partners like Eco Depot USA in local markets who can provide the turn-key services that most of our customers require.


Eco Depot USA can purchase the Turbine from Northern Power for you, help navigate the local permitting process, provide installation services and coordinate commissioning – all from a single, local source.




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