Adobe Systems is yet another company that has jumped on the alternative power energy bandwagon. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Adobe Systems has installed 20 Windspire vertical axis turbines atop the parking garage of its LEED certified office complex.
While the feasibility of placing wind turbines in urban areas was once problematic, new integrated systems have made it possible for wind energy to be used in cities and residential areas.
The Windspires, installed last month, are the first wind turbines to be installed on a downtown San Jose building. The sleek and near-silent turbines, manufactured by Mariah Power, each stand about 30 feet tall, measure four feet in diameter and weigh about 650 pounds. And the Windspires, made in the USA, are made from 80 percent recycled materials.
Although Adobe doesn’t have enough room for a significant roof-top solar system, there is plenty of wind. The software company’s three office towers, which stand 16, 17 and 18 stories high, help funnel the wind across the roof of the parking garage, which also serves as an open-air patio, basketball and bocce courtyard for employees.
And because the propeller-free turbines turn more slowly making them more visible than traditional turbines, the manufacturer says birds and bats are less likely to be harmed. In fact, there have been no reports of bird collisions thus far. And because peregrine falcons and other birds are frequent visitors to the headquarters, installing a bird-friendly system was important.
According to the company website, the 1.2 kW Windspire will produce about 2,000 kilowatt hours annually, in 12 mph average winds. It is anticipated the 20 turbines will produce less than 2 percent of the power used at the headquarters. According to Inhabitat, the San Jose-based company will eventually use the electricity generated from the turbines to power an EV charging station in the garage and the San Jose Semaphore.
While Adobe did not disclose the cost of the project, typical installations of the Windspire costs between $9,000 and $12,000 each, before the 30 percent federal tax credits and local rebates.
Photo image Mariah Power