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Virginia Tech


Y-WindSolar Connexion

Cortney V Martin
Virginia Tech
109 Hillcrest Hall
VA  24061-0453


Blacksburg Wind Power received a Community Action Grant from Virginia Tech's Office of the Vice President for Research on April 1, 2009 to install a residential/small-business scale wind turbine at the YMCA Center at 1000 North Main Street in Blacksburg, Virginia, less than 0.5 miles from the Virginia Tech campus. 

The grid-interactive system will include the 600W vertical axis wind turbine from Urban Green Energy coupled with 1050W solar panels donated by Solar Connexion. Installation is expected in April of 2010.

The Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative estimates that investing in 1,000 megawatts of wind energy in the state could result in $1.2 billion economic benefits, a reduction of 3.0 million tons of CO2, and savings of 1.6 billion gallons of water. However, wind power suffers from misconceptions that it must be large-scale and capital-intensive, and that it is noisy, aesthetically unappealing, and even potentially dangerous. This project is designed to:

  • investigate the feasibility of a small-scale wind–based net-metered system
  • uncover potential non-technical barriers to acceptance
  • educate the public on the process of installing wind energy systems via a website and outreach opportunities through the YMCA Open University
  • to work with citizens and the town regarding renewable energy zoning and regulations
  • to provide research opportunities for student and faculty
  • to collect, analyze, and share system data to support economic development through new wind-based business ventures.

The committee is comprised of members of the community, the YMCA at VT, Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students, and a representative of the Town of Blacksburg.

Currently Blacksburg Planning does not have a permit application process for Wind Turbines but is expected to release one in the next 12 months. This turbine has been permitted on an experimental basis and only lasts one year.. Keep a check on the regulations for new developments.



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