Jacobsens reap a windy harvest

I miss seeing Rollie Jacobsen’s smiling face when I shop at Just Food (no offense to all the other smiling faces I still enjoy seeing!). The long-time pillar of the local retail community’s stint at Just Food was preceded by many years of service at Jacobsen’s Family Store, of which he was a third-generation owner until he sold the business in 2003. Rollie and his wife Shar moved to a rural property near Park Rapids, Minnesota, this summer.

I chatted several times with Rollie prior to their departure about his interest in powering their rural home with a home-scale wind turbine, and gave him some back-of-the-envelope numbers concerning power production, cost and installation of several different turbines. I was thrilled last week to receive an e-mail from Rollie in which he announced that he and Shar are now the proud owners of a model I recommended to them, a 20-kilowatt Jacobs (could there be a more appropriate name?!?) provided and installed by Winkelman’s Environmentally Responsible Construction.

The turbine began producing power on December 11th, and Rollie reports it is expected to produce between 19,000 and 23,000 kilowatt-hours per year. (The average Minnesota household consumes about 9,500 kWh per year, although I’ve seen households that use as little as 2,000 kWh per year, and I recently did an energy audit at a 6,700-square-foot McMansion that used 77,000 kWh per year–don’t get me started….) Rollie provided the photos you see here.

Rollie also reported no difficulty in permitting from the county or interconnection with the local electric utility. Rock on, Rollie and Shar! You should enjoy MANY years of zero-pollution, no-cost wind-generated electricity. While investment in a wind turbine of this scale yields a relatively modest economic return, it yields a tremendous return in satisfaction in knowing that you’re being part of the solution to some major global problems, and have put your money to work in support of your values.

One Comment

  1. Jane McWilliams
    Posted December 17, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Bruce. This is a wonderful story. Kudos to Shar and Rollie!

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