HONOLULU — It has been three years in the planning and now it is finally in place. The vertical axis wind turbine is close to being operational.
Nick Dizon of NIDON Clean Energy recently installed the carbon fiber clad turbine on a warehouse in Iwilei.
“It’s our effort to show that wind can work in Hawaii,” said Dizon.
Dizon is working with Siu Electric to test the U.S. designed turbine at the company’s 500 Alakawa offices.
The turbine was recently featured on Good Morning America. It is manufactured by a company called Urban Green Energy out of New York. The turbine on the warehouse is a four kilowatt system. The theory is the system could be ideal for urban small wind corridors. It needs at least 7 mph winds. The turbine is quiet and has with no exposed metal for rusting. It also has a relatively small footprint.
Dizon said it is not a plug-in and play kit. He said city requires a conditional use permit for the turbines so the process can be time consuming. Dizon said he expects to conduct wind studies for perspective customers to see if the location will work. His plan is not to stall the turbines on rooftops, opting instead for poles.
“Our goal is to only sell this thing up on poles, or on structural-bearing members, or ground-mounted poles,” Dizon said.
Dizon hopes to start selling the vertical turbines next year. The company plans to test smaller, one-kilowatt residential systems in Kaneohe and Hawaii Kai later this fall.
A year ago the first residential wind turbine popped up on a 100 year-old home in the McCully area. Sunny Stevens says installing the system was the best decision he ever made. His bills have dropped by about 50 percent. He has started a business called Daisy Hew Technologies and hopes to install a second wind turbine on using slightly different technology on a home in Manoa. Stevens said he has obtained a conditional use permit from the city and is waiting on a building permit.