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02/02/2012 ~ Keys Energy Services (KEYS) recently completed the installation of two wind turbines at its Cudjoe Key Electrical Substation on U.S. Highway 1 (MM 23, Oceanside). The Wind Demonstration Project is funded in part by a Clean Energy Grant KEYS was awarded from the State of Florida totaling $770,000. The grant was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the United States Department of Energy.

Construction of the Wind Demonstration Project cost $46,000 and KEYS worked with Florida Keys-based Sea, Air, Land Technologies (SALT) who furnished and installed the turbines per a competitive bid process. Originally one turbine was going to be installed at KEYS’ Stock Island Generation Facility and the other at the Cudjoe Key Electrical Substation. However, in order to determine if varying heights affected output, both were installed at the Cudjoe site so that all other factors could be considered equal.

One turbine is installed at a height of 57-feet, with the total height of the installation being 62.5-feet from the ground to the tip of the highest blade. The second turbine is installed at a height of 30-feet, with the total height of the installation being 35-feet from the ground to the tip of the highest blade. The diameter of each turbine from blade tip to blade tip is 12-feet.

The maximum output for each turbine is 2,400 watts and can be achieved at a wind speed of 29 miles-per-hour (mph). The minimum wind speed required for the turbines to rotate is eight mph, below this the turbines will not rotate. Energy generated from the turbines will help offset the energy used within the substation for cooling and lighting equipment. The system was not designed with a battery back-up for energy storage.

“In the coming weeks KEYS will unveil a web component similar to the one used for our solar demonstration project at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery center that will allow our customers to view the output of the unit on-demand,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS’ General Manager & CEO. Tejeda went on to add that “a small dedication ceremony is being planned once all components are in place and the public will be invited to attend.”

Additional projects identified by KEYS that will be funded by the grant include:

1) Installing an energy management system to control lighting and cooling at KEYS’ Service Building.

2) Constructing an estimated 44 Kilowatt* (kW) solar photovoltaic system on a KEYS’ warehouse at its Stock Island Generating Facility.

3) Offering $100,000 in rebates to qualifying customers who purchase energy efficient appliances.

4) Providing 225 residential energy surveys over 18-months, which will include the distribution of compact fluorescent light bulbs, low flow showerheads, and faucet aerators.

5) Hosting three workshops for commercial customers to learn how to implement energy efficiency in their businesses.

KEYS had previously identified installing a thermal storage unit at KEYS’ Service Building to shift air conditioning cooling costs during peak hours. However, the quotes for the project came back at double the estimated costs that were included in the grant application and KEYS was unable to complete this project.

All grant projects must be completed by April 2012 in order to receive funding. Pursuant to the grant, the State will fund approximately $434,000 of the total grant, with KEYS rounding out the difference with matching funds. “KEYS’ staff is working diligently to implement all facets of the grant and our customers will have an even greener utility which remains committed to its motto of Growing Greener Every Day,” said Tejeda.

*Kilowatt – A unit of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts.

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