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.
Wind plants mounted on tall towers (in this case, a guyed tilt-up tower) effectively capture the wind's power.
COURTESY BERGEY WINDPOWER
Harvesting wind as renewable energy.
PHOTO: 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
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.
COURTESY ROLF HECKMANN
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.