Wind Energy Blog No. 1: Horizon Wind Energy

| 3/4/2011 12:13:17 PM

Blue Canyon Wind FarmAs one of the largest wind energy companies in the world, Horizon Wind Energy had installed more than 2,500 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2010. The company is based out of Houston, Texas, and it has wind farms in 18 states, including California, Texas and New York. Each wind farm the company constructs follows the same step by step process.

The first and most important consideration when choosing a site is that the location produces a steady stream of wind, and is also feasible for construction. Other factors that determine the site suitability include availability of transmission lines and a willing community.

“The landowner relationship is the most important aspect of it,” says Vanessa Kellogg, Horizon Wind Energy’s director of project development for the Southwest region. “We are out in the field working with the landowners. We also do a lot of education and outreach to explain the purpose of the wind turbines, how they work and the impacts on the land.”

The landowners that enter into long-lease agreements with the company receive monetary benefits from the very beginning, because Horizon Wind Energy pays landowners for access to their land so the company can put up meteorological towers and do field research. Once the wind farms are generating power, the landowner receives payment based off of the wind energy output. For farmers, the wind turbines can provide supplementary income, and they can continue farming without much interference from the turbines. This extra income can be especially convenient in times of drought or flood.

For towns that are struggling, wind farms can also provide an economic boost to the area. It brings in new people and sometimes starts up new enterprises. In the case of the Meridian Way wind farm located in Cloud County, Kan., a wind energy education program developed at Cloud County Community College.

“One thing we’ve seen in young people in school right now, they don’t really seem that inclined to come back and work the farm. What this is doing is giving them something else to come back to,” Kellogg says.Blue Canyon Wind Farm 2 

3/23/2012 9:31:46 PM

Great Brittain invested heavily in wind power a few yrs ago. Now they regret it and are defunding the mills. It seems they're only running at 25% efficiency and the coal fired plants have to be kept running at an inefficiently low level on stand-by. Net effect: more expense than figured and more pollution. Germany is also in trouble with their windmills. They run too slowly to be effective most of the time, and when the wind picks up, the excess juice has to be diverted to the rest of Europe, endangering the grid.Here in the US, govt subsidies are about to end and the many mills in the midwest afre preparing to shut down. They just can't compete economically. Other than that, it's a great idea.

Phil Crosland
3/22/2012 2:31:25 PM

Ah well never mind. :)

Phil Crosland
3/22/2012 2:31:01 PM

the link didn't work, see here for the considerations:

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