I Bought a Wind Turbine Now Where Do I Put It
The Answer is Blowin in the Wind
In August of 2010, Crile Carvey Consulting / Otra received a USDA SBIR Phase I grant for research to develop software to minimize the challenges involved in optimally siting Small Wind Turbines. “Small Wind” is defined as turbines with a capacity of 100 kW or less. CCC/Otra is currently working on Phase I research.
Improved materials, innovative/cost-lowering manufacturing, and federal and state incentives guarantee that “small wind” turbines will play an important role in meeting government goals for promoting renewable energy. “Small wind” turbines, defined as having <100 kW capacity, can potentially supply 50-90% of the power for a rural residence or impressively augment the power needs of a rural agricultural or manufacturing business. However, determining optimal turbine placement and site design is complex, yet critical for success. Existing site selection methods consist of a mish-mash of inefficient, imprecise, and uncoordinated “checklists,” or highly technological programs geared for large wind farm developers, requiring too much computing power, engineering expertise, and budget for the average rural small wind developer. Small wind projects encounter challenges and objections regarding visual, aural, property value, environmental, regulatory, wildlife, habitat, viewshed and “not-in-my-backyard” issues. And overriding all of these is the financial question: how long will this take to pay for itself?
Bringing Broadband Where It Isn't
Can You Hear Me Now
Otra is currently developing a decision support software product for the optimal placement of towers across the rural US. If you live or work in rural America, you know exactly where broadband isn't. And if it isn't where you live or work, chances are excellent that you wish it were! Otra's product will bring broadband (and cell phone service) where it isn't.
Broadband benefits rural economies, improves accessibility to health and wellness programs, increases job and educational opportunities, facilitates e-commerce for consumers and small business, and increases safety for rural residents by supporting emergency responders of all kinds. A lack of broadband has measurable negative effects on each of these quality-of-life areas.
In 2009, Crile Carvey Consulting, Inc., Otra's parent company, was awarded Phase I research funds from the USDA. CCC successfully completed Phase I research and is working on a USDA SBIR Phase II aplication for March 2011 submission. Funding from Wyoming WSSI is being used to facilitate this.