The first windmill on St. John, atop a 45-foot tower, rose on Bordeaux Mountain last week.
Love City’s first wind generator rose more than 40 feet into the sky last week.
Doug White, who owns Solar Supply with his wife Leslie, oversaw the project, while Chris Clark of Eclectic Electric did the wiring and Julio’s Construction built the concrete foundation.
The island’s first ever windmill, a Skystream 2.4 kW wind generator, arose on Ellen and Edward Robert’s Bordeaux Mountain property.
“It’s a Skystream 2.4 kW wind generator on a 45 foot tower,” said White. “It should produce, I would say, 500 kW hours a month depending on the wind speed. We’re estimating an average of 12 miles per hour.”
“Sometimes it’s not blowing at all up there but 15 to 20 miles per hour is not unusual either for Bordeaux,” White said.
After spending more than a year in the permitting process, watching the tower rise last week was a triumph, explained White.
“It took us over a year to get the necessary permits,” he said. “We needed a Fish and Wildlife permit, an earth change permit and a building permit. We were definitely out there in the forefront.”
The 45-foot tower supports the windmill’s six-foot blades and is anchored by a concrete footing, “to keep it from turning over,” said White.
The wind generator shouldn’t emit much noise, but is “very visible from the Bordeaux lookout,” said the owner of Solar Supply, the Skystream dealer in the Virgin Islands.
In addition to the windmill, the Roberts have also installed a solar hot water heater and two kW of solar power, White added.
“The Roberts are really committed to renewable energy and we kind of pushed the envelope with this project,” he said.
While Robert’s is the first windmill on St. John, a second one is expected to be erected on the south shore, explained White, who did not have specifics on the project.
And more wind generators on St. John are sure to follow.
“I think for the people who live in areas like Bordeaux, if you have the wind resources and you can meet the setback requirements, it’s certainly a viable option for renewable energy,” said White.
Wind generators must be set back from the property line one and half times the height of the tower, White explained.
“You need a pretty good amount of property to put up that kind of wind generator,” he said. “There are other generators that can be put up in a smaller space.”
For more details about the Skystream windmill or other Solar Supply products, call 775-7483.