Weaver Wind: Energy Independence at Home in Tompkins County

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Tompkins Weekly 7-13-15

By Peter Zibinski

Did you know wind turbines are being designed and manufactured right here in Tompkins County?

At Weaver Wind Energy, we are re-thinking energy distribution and creating a sustainable business model in the process. Weaver Wind is dedicated to the creation of reliable small wind systems and every one of our machines is designed and assembled in the Village of Freeville, just a few minutes from Ithaca.

Tompkins County is a renowned center of free thought, sustainable values, and talented individuals.  Our five-year journey, from R&D through to final product, has been made possible by the ardent support of our fellow community members.  We’ve worked alongside Cornell professors, students, technical advisers, elected officials, homeowners, and a host of others in the community who advocate tirelessly for renewable energy.  We’ve received financial support, technical advice, and even access to private land where we installed prototype turbines.  Over the last five years, these individuals have played an enormous part in the creation of not only our organization but a broader cultural environment that nurtures innovation, promotes collaboration, and kindles creative problem-solving.  We cannot overstate the importance of this support in our early years: it is a true sign of sustainability.

In turn, we are committed to being a community-minded enterprise.  The jobs created in our organization stay in the community and contribute to the development of a skilled renewable energy workforce.  We’re rethinking light manufacturing and low-impact office routines.  As a ReBusiness Partner with Tompkins County Solid Waste, we are modeling a zero-waste manufacturing facility.  Yes, it can be done!  In addition, we have several open houses planned this summer and are working with local education centers to introduce both students and teachers to distributed wind energy as a reliable generation option that complements solar in creating a truly 100% renewable energy option.  Weaver Wind is signatory to important coalition letters written to advance the status of renewables and the regulatory infrastructure of New York State.  Most recently, we signed on to Vote Solar’s letter on community net metering.  Moving forward, our organization will continue to be an advocate for preserving our environment, transitioning to clean technologies, and developing businesses that contribute to quality of life.

As demonstrated by New York’s historic fracking ban and other energy initiatives, communities across the region are broadly intensifying their focus on renewable energy.  At Weaver Wind, we believe our community can reach 100% renewable electricity through a combination of wind, solar, and increased efficiency.  The Weaver 5, our first commercial product, is a 5,000W (5kW) wind energy system that offers a renewable solution for a variety of settings—homes, small businesses, farms, parks, universities, and churches, just to name a few.  Small wind can take the clean energy transition to a new level with nighttime and winter-month energy generation.  On-site distribution enhances grid stability while minimizing line loss. For families, it can reduce or even eliminate utility costs and provide reliable, year-round energy independence.

As a society, we have the power, the opportunity, and the responsibility to create a living system that benefits both humanity and the global ecosystem.  Change is upon us, and the informed, impassioned people of Tompkins County are at the forefront of a transition to a truly sustainable society.  The Weaver Wind team is comprised of scholars, students, engineers, and farmers who live and learn right here in Tompkins County.  We are honored to operate and collaborate in such a special place, and we are dedicated to making distributed energy generation a reality here and across the country.  Weaver Wind not only makes its product in Tompkins County: we are a product of Tompkins County.

And of course, we’ll see you at GrassRoots!

Peter Zibinski is Communications Director at Weaver Wind Energy.

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