Do you have enough wind or solar exposure to go Off-Grid?

I found an interesting post on Off Grid Living, a blog about conserving energy and living off the main power grid. They suggested using an online watt estimator based on your locality zip code to estimate whether you have enough exposure to produce more power than you need.

The calculations are based on estimates by the Department of Energy. So if you visit the site MyWattsEstimator and enter your State and Zip Code you will get your on-site renewable energy potential.

I’ve often asked my husband about this since we live in Northern Ohio where it’s cold and overcast 4 to 6 months out of the year.

I went to the site and this is what my report was (I had to use an address from inside town because the system could not find my rural address):

Your Site Potential
WIND POWER RESOURCE:
Average – Class 2
SOLAR RESOURCE:
Average – 4.34 Sun Hrs/Day

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STATE WIND INCENTIVE:
 
STATE SOLAR INCENTIVE:
 
FEDERAL WIND INCENTIVE:
 
FEDERAL SOLAR INCENTIVE:
 

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INCENTIVES FOR WIND:
Excellent Incentives Available
INCENTIVES FOR SOLAR:
Excellent Incentives Available
CURRENT ELECTRICITY RATE:
$0.09 per kWh
Energy Analysis for a Hypothetical Installation
3 kW
Wind Turbine
3kW
Solar PV System
Total Installed Cost $18,000 $27,000
State Incentives $7,506 $10,503
Federal Incentives $0 $1,998
Installed Cost After Incentives $10,494 $14,499
Annual Energy Estimate 2,500 kWh/yr 3,420 kWh/yr
Equivalent Cost of Electricity ($0.35) ($0.35)
Simple Payback Period 29 years 30 years

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