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Intel Installs Wind Micro-Turbines On HQ Roof

Words by Gina-Marie Cheeseman
Energy & Environment
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When we think of rooftop renewable energy, solar immediately comes to mind. However, wind micro-turbines can also be placed on a roof. Intel knows all about it. The company recently installed one of the world’s largest wind micro-turbine arrays on the roof of its headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

Intel installed 58 micro-turbines that are between 6 and 7 feet tall, weighing about 30 pounds. The micro-turbines are what’s called a proof-of-concept project, meaning that the company hopes to collect data to provide a better understanding of green power. Intel plans to share the data collected with local utilities, other companies, the wind power industry and other interested parties.

The micro-turbines prove that bigger really isn’t always better. Their small size means that they are versatile in their uses and applications. They are expected to generate power about 65 percent of the time, or 65 kilowatt-hours. They have been installed on the roof’s edge in order to best capture the wind and provide optimized power generation. There is enough room for solar panels, which are also installed on the roof.

Intel is a green power leader


This isn't Intel's only renewable energy project. The company also operates a solar electric facility in India that supplies almost 100 percent of the hot water used at its two largest campuses in the country. It saves Intel approximately 70,000 kilowatt-hours worth of energy each year.

Other renewable energy projects include:


  • Piloting wind micro-turbines and ground-source heat pumps at its site in Guadalajara, Mexico

  • Bringing 2 megawatts of fuel cell power online at its sites in California

  • Installing 21 solar electric facilities across 12 of its campuses around the world, totaling 12 million kWh a year
"Our renewable purchase is just one part of a multi-faceted approach to protect the environment, and one that we hope spurs additional development and demand for renewable energy," said Intel director of global utilities and infrastructure, Marty Sedler.

In addition to onsite renewable energy, Intel is a large purchaser of green power. Earlier this year, Intel was recognized as the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. Last year, Intel bought enough renewable energy certificates (RECs) to meet 100 percent of its U.S. electricity use for the year, which totaled approximately 3.1 billion kWh. Intel’s power from REC purchases come from wind, solar, geothermal, low-impact hydro and biomass sources. All of them are third-party certified.

Image credit: Intel

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

Read more stories by Gina-Marie Cheeseman