If your site has an abundance of wind energy, we recommend taking advantage of it! We look for systems that are quiet, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. The terms “wind energy” or “wind power” describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of motion in the wind into mechanical power, such as the moving parts of a machine. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.
Wind energy is inexhaustible and infinitely renewable. Unlike conventional fossil fuels, wind energy is renewable, abundant energy that will be available for future generations. Wind energy is clean energy because it produces no emissions (unlike fossil fuels), which means it doesn’t contribute to acid rain and snow, global climate change, smog, regional haze, mercury contamination, water withdrawal, and particulate-related health effects. Unlike most other electricity generation sources, wind turbines don’t consume water. Irrigation and thermal electric generation account for approximately 77% of the United States’ fresh water use. Conventional plants generating power from fossil and nuclear fuels use large amounts of water for cooling; wind turbines do not use water. That makes wind energy a great choice for drought-stricken communities in rural America or other parts of the world.
Health and / or Social Benefits
Besides having the health benefits of access to clean air, water, and land, wind energy is an indigenous, homegrown energy source that contributes to national security. The United States is the world’s largest importer of oil and natural gas, which often originate in troubled areas of the world. The Great Plains region, which has been dubbed “the Saudi Arabia of wind” because of its tremendous untapped wind energy potential, offers homegrown energy, which increases national security. Reliance on indigenous resources also reduces the balance of payments that threatens our national economic security. Because of the distributed aspect of wind energy, it is less vulnerable than large liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports or large thermoelectric power plants.
Wind energy is a valuable crop of the future for local community farmers and ranchers. Wind farms located in rural areas generate energy that can be transmitted to load centers in urban areas via the regional utility grid. The rural areas retain the jobs, as well as land lease revenue for farmers and ranchers (as much as $4,000 per turbine per year). Wind turbines are compatible with rural land uses—crops can be grown and livestock can be grazed up to the base of the turbine. Wind energy also provides an increased local tax base for rural areas. Prowers County, home to the Lamar project, increased its local tax base by $32 million. The 912 megawatts of new wind power installed in Texas in 2001 will deliver $13.3 million in tax revenue for schools and counties.
Wind energy is economically competitive. With today’s rising coal and gas prices, new wind plants compete favorably against any new electricity generation source. In fact, when the Colorado Public Service Commission issued a ruling on the 161-megawatt wind project in Lamar, Colorado, the commission determined that wind energy provided the lowest cost of any generation resource submitted to a solicitation bid by Xcel Energy. The commission also noted that, unlike the other generation resources considered, the Lamar project avoided a future risk of increased fuel prices.
Securing Clean, Domestic, Affordable Energy with Wind
U.S. Department of Energy