The Bahamas, right smack dab in the middle of hurricane alley, are building multiple micro grids with solar photovoltaic panels to power the island and keep it powered up even after the next Cat 5 -180 mph storm hits the islands.  That’s because the solar panels are built to withstand the impact force of items crashing into it at high speed and the racking systems that holds it all together are engineered to meet the expected wind loads.

In the Bahamas that would be a 180-200 mph wind and on the Front Range we design and build for 100-135 mph winds, depending on your specific location.

So, if winds are an issue, why not build to take advantage of it with wind generators instead of solar photovoltaic?  If you notice around the country the places where commercial megawatt wind generators are erected, it is in locations that have historic steady state winds of 10-30 mph and not places of strong gusty winds.

Commercial wind generators adjust the pitch (or angle) of the propeller blade to optimize the speed of rotation as the wind speed changes in order to extract the most energy from the wind while maintaining the best rotational speed for the generator gearbox.

At too high a wind speeds the propeller blades a must be feathered (angle changed so they catch no wind) in order to protect the machinery from over-speed.

For a residence it is rarely the best use for your money to go with a wind generator over solar photovoltaic no matter how much wind you get at your property for several reasons.

First, scaling the technology down in size from megawatts to a few kilo watts does not translate into a machine that is very efficient vs its cost.

Second, a consumer would have to deal with maintenance issues due to wind turbines having rotatable parts requiring periodic service where as a photovoltaic solar systems has no moving parts and thus no maintenance.

Third, while solar panels produces nothing at night, and a wind generator will produce day or night if the wind is blowing at the proper speeds, the total energy generated by a small solar system on the Front Range of Colorado will out produce the energy proceed by a small wind turbine 3 to 1, and cost one third less.  Unless you live in a canyon that gets little sunlight and lots of steady wind solar photovoltaic will always be your best option.