Monday, April 6, 2009

Wind Power

When I hear of people objecting to wind power because it obstructs the view, I want to invite them to have a beer on our (future) back porch and watch the Cobb turbines spin. They are ten miles west of us, and we have a lovely view of electricity being generated on clear days like today. By the time we have an actual back porch, we may also have a small turbine of our own.

We are fortunate to live near the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, an organization that offers, among other things, workshops on diy small wind systems. How fun would it be to watch your electric meter spin backwards??? Especially after paying the power company $1200 to move two lousy wires during the house move! (Not that I'm bitter. I am hoarding my bitterness for Charter Cable, who billed us $1300 for moving one wire. And I have witnesses to prove that all they did was lift one portly man up in a cherry-picker bucket. He literally raised the wire up with his shoulder, smoking a cigarette the entire time. His co-workers read the newspaper, and a sipped on an enormous coffee, respectively. Then they joined the house parade and gawked for 1/2 hour while the house movers struggled to get the house into the driveway. When I called the company to complain, the manager told me we were lucky the bill was so low, given all the "prep time," and the fact that they only billed us for two workers instead of three. Yes, what a steal. )

But I digress. It's spring, and I can't wait to start taking advantage of the blustery wind. I have heard that small wind turbines are loud. Anyone out there had experience with this? By the time we can afford one, though, they will probably be quiet as a whisper!



brandon phillips said...

we also live in wind farm country and have thought about having a single homeowner sized windmill on our property. they're quite pricy upfront ($5000-10000) but i imagine pay for themselves in a few years. i've also heard about "build it yourself" wind turbines for like $500 but haven't looked into it much, i like building things though so that may be up my alley. i've never heard of them being noisy, i thought part of the thing with windmills is that they were quiet. i don't think they spin fast enough to actually make noise(like a helicoptor).

Anonymous said...

i think it's great... i never heard anyone say don't build that coal fired electric facility, it obstructs my view. you gotta wonder sometimes.

Joe and Christy said...

I have to imagine people will come around to the view-blocking problem. After all, the country is criss-crossed with power lines and cables, and we hardly notice them.

And Brandon, if I could build one, I would! I am not a mechanical gal--at the gym yesterday, I tried to put my clothes in a different locker than I usually use, and could not figure out how to get it open! (I got dressed again and slunk to my usual section!) So you probably won't see me in front of the ole' mig welder anytime soon!