Meeting environmental and social responsibilities are top priorities for today’s companies. Business leaders understand that adopting effective operational processes that result in less pollution is great for the planet and human health. One way that some companies implement these corporate social responsibility measures is to choose to buy electricity that is derived from renewable sources instead of conventional ones such as coal.
Managers used to justify the cost of switching to renewable energy products by pointing out that it was an investment in the long-term health of the populations which they served. However, the cost of alternative energy products such as those from wind energy have decreased as power companies expand the infrastructure that is needed to produce these renewable energy products in a cost-effective manner. Now that renewable energy products are going mainstream it is important for you to understand the basics of wind-based energy, the instruments used to collect this source of electricity and how to purchase this form of electricity for your business.
Wind Energy Basics
Wind power has been used in America and around the world to automate agricultural tasks for hundreds of years in the form of the humble windmill. Modern engineers use the same fundamental principles to turn wind into usable energy today. Wind is abundant, and energy experts claim that there is enough wind available throughout the United States to meet the entire country’s demand for power many times over.
To effectively tap into this resource, wind power developers conduct thorough research to make sure that they set up their collection and transmission facilities in locations that offer the best wind flow. They usually lease land that is identified as optimal wind farms and pump cleanly produced energy into the nation’s power grids for consumption.
The benefits of producing electricity from wind include (1):
– Low toxic emissions
– Conservation of water resources
– Supplemental income for private land owners
– Increased jobs for wind power equipment contractors
Wind Turbine Technology
The wind turbine is the modern-day windmill for wind power companies. Wind turbines consist of a set of blades that are attached to a tower. The structure also contains internal gears that are connected to generators. When wind moves these turbines’ blades, mechanical energy is produced that moves the internal gears. Turbine generators convert mechanical energy into electricity.
Although the first electricity-generating wind turbine was invented during the late 1800s (2), the practice of collecting wind energy for commercial use became popular during the latter half of the 20th century. Utility scale and offshore turbines are the two types of turbines that are currently used for high-volume electricity production. Utility scale turbines are grouped structures that are outfitted to convert large amounts of mechanical energy into electricity and transmit the electricity to a power grid. Offshore turbines offer the same benefits as utility scale turbines, but they sit atop support structures in oceans and other bodies of water to take advantage of the renewable resource that naturally blows across water. Research is ongoing to evaluate the environmental impacts to marine life that the presence of offshore turbines bring.
Turbine designs continue to become more efficient. Today, turbine blades are built to adapt to wind direction and speed in order to optimize the amount of wind collected by the structures. However, future wind turbines may not have blades at all. At least one design company seeks to replace the groups of propeller-driven turbines that you see at local wind farms with cone-shaped ones that leverage the aerodynamic effect that is called vorticity (3). These turbines that capture and use whirlpools of wind to create electricity are noted to be less expensive to build and less of a danger to birds than their blade-driven predecessors.
Purchasing Wind-Generated Renewable Energy
One of the greatest benefits that you will receive from converting to wind-driven renewable electricity is stable energy rates. Unlike coal, wind is free. Subsequently, power companies can give you competitive, fixed rates for longer periods of time when you sign power purchasing agreements. Eliminating the uncertainty of the long-term costs to power your company’s operations can present significant advantages. Businesses that are located in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts can check out Great Eastern Energy’s current renewable electricity rates.
When you purchase sustainable electricity products through Great Eastern Energy for your business, you reduce your company’s reliance on fossil fuels and can possibly decrease its overall energy consumption. Companies that spend over 5,000 per month on energy through Great Eastern Energy are assigned personal energy advisors who can offer customized recommendations for lowering energy consumption.
Clients enrolled in a renewable electricity plan with Great Eastern Energy will receive a number of green marketing tools to show their commitment to sustainability, such as:
– A “GEE” Green sticker to place on the door of your business
– A signed renewable energy certificate to display
– A welcome package with energy saving stickers
When you invest in clean, renewable energy, you join the ranks of other large, successful corporations, such as Microsoft and Google, that are committed to a better environment and a healthier customer base (5). Business leaders at these companies recognize that using sustainable energy products enhances brand reputations and lowers energy costs over time. While these corporations have large-scale investments in wind farms and solar power systems, Great Eastern Energy provides an easy way for your company to participate in the renewable energy market. Now is a great time to contact an energy advisor to learn about your renewable energy options and how to reduce your business’s consumption.