Michael Hackleman and Claire Anderson explain how choosing wind as a source for renewable energy makes us less dependent on utility giants and nonrenewable, polluting fossil fuels.
Harvesting wind as renewable energy.
PHOTO: COURTESY BERGEY WINDPOWER
Wind plants mounted on tall towers (in this case, a guyed tilt-up tower) effectively capture the wind's power.
COURTESY BERGEY WINDPOWER
A sample power-production curve for a 900-watt wind plant. Make sure wind plant manufacturers provide you with a power-production curve for each model you are considering.
ADAPTED FROM SWMP
COURTESY ROLF HECKMANN
Wind maps, like the one shown in the image gallery, show which regions have at least Class 3 winds sufficient to power a wind plant.
Conserving wind power.
COURTESY SOUTHWEST WINDPOWER
Zoning: Before you invest in a wind plant, it is a wise idea to make friends with your local building inspector, board of supervisors or planning board. You'll need to check with them to see if a building permit is required for your wind plant. Some areas restrict the height of structures permitted in residentially zoned areas, although variances are often obtainable.