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Maine to Store Off-Peak Wind Power by Heating Ceramic Bricks for Home Heating


Winter is surely here, and heating the homes is something most of the people pay for, at least in moderate climate countries. The example of how a Maine company implemented a scheme for heating homes with the electricity generated during the night should spark interest for companies interested in both the profits and the green kudos.

Independent Wind, Maine’s local wind developer, is about to offer every households a $6,000 subsidy for installing an Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) system in their own homes.

The ETS will use the off-peak electricity that the wind company produces at night to heat dense ceramic bricks stored in an ultra-insulated container to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The bricks will then heat the Maine homes 24 hours a day and halve the electricity usage, which, by the way, is 80 percent oil-based.

The project has been named Highland Wind, and will supply the electricity at the equivalent of $1.15 per gallon of oil, which is more than half the price homeowners usually pay for their $3.00 per gallon energy.

Now, everything looks normal so far. The interesting fact in this is that the company will use wind to power the home heat storage systems. The power that Maine wind turbines produce is somewhere around 352 million kilowatts per year, which would be enough to fully power 44,000 households.

“We’re really excited about this idea, ” said Angus King, a former Governor of Maine, and one of the principals of Independence Wind, a partner in the development of the project.”Maine is one of the most oil dependent states in the country and a huge portion of this oil is used to heat homes. We want to demonstrate here that we can replace that oil-not a drop of which comes from within Maine-with locally produced wind power which can be supplied at a long-term predictable price. This is better for the environment and is an insurance policy against the constant rise in oil prices.”

The project has been estimated to bring over 300 new jobs to the local region during the construction period. Moreover, the project will pay more than $500,000 in state, local, and county taxes every year, which shows how profitable the idea is, after all. And green, too.

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