Schiebel Residence Tehachapi

Mr. Kevin Schiebel of Tehachapi, CA installed his Bergey 10 kW wind turbine in 1996 after becoming extremely frustrated with his utility company, Southern California Edison (SCE), over billing issues. Mr. Schiebel, who works in the commercial wind energy business, purchased a used tower from scrapped 25 kW Carter wind turbine, designed and built a special mounting adapter for the Bergey turbine, and purchased a new Bergey turbine with a grid-intertie inverter. Mr. Schiebel installed the system himself.

But, disagreements with SCE continued and the utility started threatening to cut off Mr. Schiebel's service unless he paid a large sum that was under dispute. In 1997, Mr. Schiebel put the disputed amount in an escrow account, but also bought additional electrical equipment that converted his wind system into a remote system capable of operating independently of SCE. This upgrade gave Mr. Schiebel the option of operating with or without the utility. He also added solar modules to increase his available energy. Shortly after upgrading his system Mr. Schiebel asked SCE to shut down their service to his home. In other words, he voted with his feet.

At last word, SCE and Mr. Schiebel were getting along better and the SCE electricity was again serving the Schiebel home. California now has net metering on an annual basis for small wind systems up to 10 kW, so the metering issues have been resolved. Any excess production is "banked" by SCE for months when the wind and solar systems do not produce enough electricity. Mr. Schiebel is a true pioneer and he has the arrows in his back to prove it. When there's a power outage in his area, Mr. Schiebel has full power from his own generating system.