Windswept Grant Eases Greenhouse Gas Emissions on the Eastern Shore

The Jenkins stand in the front lawn of their Worcester County home. Behind them, a wind turbine can be seen.Seeking a less carbon-intensive way to power his Worcester County home, Michael Jenkins researched renewable energy options. He realized he had a great resource at his Stockton property: Wind.

Pittsville-based Communications & Energy Services, an Eastern Shore energy system installer, provided Jenkins with an estimate for a Skystream wind turbine from Southwest Windpower. Jenkins applied to the Maryland Energy Administration’s Windswept Grant Program in November of 2010, and was approved for a grant of $6,160, made possible through funds provided by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant covered about one third of the total project cost.

The 45’-tall tower and 2.4 kilowatt turbine was installed in March, and provides Jenkins with significant energy savings. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to install this unit without the MEA grant,” he said. “I always disliked the wind at our house, and now I love it.”

Jenkins believes the turbine installation was a good investment. “I’m so happy to see it turning all the time,” he said. “If I can get savings on it off my bill, that’s more money than I’m getting in the bank.”

Jenkins is also enthusiastic about his new turbine’s environmental benefits. “We’ve already saved about 160 pounds of CO2 from going up in the atmosphere, and I’m tickled pink about that,” he said. “It’s helping to save the planet.”

The Windswept Grant Program is part of the Clean Energy Grant Program, which provides home and business owners, non-profits, and government entities with financial assistance to install solar photovoltaic, solar water heating, geothermal heat pump, and wind turbine systems. The program is designed to help satisfy Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements and EmPOWER Maryland goals.

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