Gary Harcourt is a cabinetmaker by trade. He still views his work installing wind turbines as a side gig, albeit one that has brought him around the world, hoisting turbines over potato farms in the English countryside and working on test rigs in Vancouver. In November Mr. Harcourt raised his 50th turbine at the Allen Farm in Chilmark. It was the 12th turbine raised on-Island by Great Rock Windpower, the company founded by Mr. Harcourt along with Larry Schubert and Mr. Harcourt’s wife, Kathryn. But for a company that began with a dream of bringing renewable energy to the Vineyard, a tribute to Mr. Harcourt’s late brother, the winds have increasingly blown Mr. Harcourt abroad as one of the top small turbine installers in the world.

“It’s kind of become a thing hasn’t it?” he said this week in the small office space carved out for himself above his cabinetmaking workshop, while Hank Williams blared above the whirring of circular saws.

Mr. Harcourt had just returned from a trip to the Endurance Windpower headquarters in British Columbia, where he was recruited to help put the finishing touches on several turbines as the company scrambled to keep up with orders flying in from the wind-friendly United Kingdom. In the coming months Endurance will fly Mr. Harcourt overseas for still more installations.

“It’s exciting. We’re going to do it for another year. We’ll see if we can handle traveling that much,” he said.

In November, Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Schubert climbed high above an audience of unimpressed sheep at the Allen Farm in Chilmark to bolt down the fiberglass-petaled nacelle of what Mr. Harcourt says will be the most productive turbine on the Island, topping even the model at Morning Glory Farm which already produces 10 times more energy than any other turbine on the Vineyard.

“Its amazing the difference between Morning Glory and the Allen Farm [turbine] compared to all the smaller ones and the photovoltaic systems,” he said. “Those things really make a big difference. I mean [Allen Farm owner Mitchell Posin] made 1,000 kilowatt hours yesterday. Yesterday. I made 3,000 last year.”

Generating those 3000 kilowatt hours in Mr. Harcourt’s backyard, towering above a small garden and sand volleyball court is a 5 kilowatt turbine, tilting toward and slicing through a steady 18-mph breeze (when the wind hits 20 mph, Mr. Harcourt says, “it’s full tilt boogie”). The turbine replaces a smaller one originally built in memory of Mr. Harcourt’s brother, Glen, who died in 2006. Glen Harcourt was an avid clean energy advocate, living off the grid in Telluride, Colorado while managing a green-minded design-build firm.

“He was just a big dreamer,” said Mr. Harcourt. “He had all these enthusiastic young people out there, collecting grease and making biodiesel and hand-forging crazy stuff. He was just getting into the wind.”

The brothers had planned to import that enthusiasm to the Vineyard, but when Glen died in a plane crash in 2006, leaving behind a wife and two children, Gary carried on the mantle, organizing a week-long wind turbine workshop with Kate Warner, founder of the Vineyard Energy Project.

“My brother was going to come put the wind turbine up, and so I did it in his honor. I thought, ‘Oh shoot, now I’ve got to learn how to do it myself,’ ” he said. “Kate’s hope was she’d get maybe five wind turbine installers on the Island out of that workshop. All she got was one.”

Mr. Harcourt’s humble backyard turbine inspired a number of Vineyard homeowners to employ the services of Great Rock, but the work quickly shifted to the mainland where business was booming.

“I went to Canada, then Kansas, then Tennessee. I’ve been everywhere. Everywhere that’s not the most beautiful place in the world,” he said.

At installations the high-wire act of Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Schubert can appear death-defying, but Mr. Harcourt, a certified tower climbing safety and rescue instructor, dismisses the prospect of danger.

“It’s not harrowing,” he said, laughing. “It’s basically just a ladder. We’re always hooked into something. The rule is 100 per cent tie or die.”

While he says the Vineyard still has some excellent prospective spots for reaping airborne energy, he’s not naive about the regulatory and cultural hurdles turbines face on the Island.

“I don’t see anyone wanting to do it but I think there’s room,” he said. “Quite frankly I think the high school could take their little turbine down and put up a real one. There was one great spot in Chilmark where a homeowner tried to get a permit on the top of a hill on 100 acres, but there’s no way the Chilmark zoning board is going to allow any wind turbines until the board changes.”

He says the Allen Farm managed to get permitted because of an agricultural exemption for such structures in the Massachusetts General Laws.

With the Vineyard pursuing municipal solar projects at landfills and on town roofs Mr. Harcourt insists that the projects can and should coexist with town wind projects.

“I’m still a firm believer that wind is the way to go,” he said.