Would You Consider Installing a Wind Turbine in Your Backyard?

| 7/20/2010 12:03:40 PM

600 Watt Wind TurbineBeing from a rural Kansas town, to me a small wind turbine in the backyard of someone’s home is the iconic vision of self-sufficiency. However, wind turbines are popping up all around the country from small towns to big cities.

Wind turbines vary in size and production of energy so you can pick the best fit for you. The electricity they produce can lower your utility bill and lower your impact on the environment. 

Would you consider installing a wind turbine in your backyard? Share your thoughts below.  

Jennifer Kongs is the Managing Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. When she’s not working at the magazine, she’s likely working in her garden, on the local running trails or in her kitchen instead. You can find Jennifer on Twitter or .

Photo by Ed McKenna, courtesy DOE/NREL 

12/19/2010 3:16:57 PM

I would love to have a wind generator in my backyard. In fact, I think I will put an antique Wind Power Light Co. wind generator produced in 1939 up this spring. I have been collecting American wind generators manufactured by nearly 2 dozen companies in the 1930's and 40's for the past 35 years. They competed with the successful Delco-Light farm electric plants introduced in 1916 by General Motors and produced until 1947. In addition to Delco-Light and wind generators there were 150 companies competing in the 32 volt farm electric plant business serving nearly 800,000 rural homes, farms, businesses, schools, churches, and resorts. In 1935, the most popular Delco-Light, rated 800 watts, with a large capacity battery sold for $495, a Jacobs Wind Electric Company model 60, rated 2500 watts, with a 60 foot tower, and large 440 Ah battery sold for $595. By contrast the REA extended the central grid to rural areas at a cost of $950/customer plus a monthly service charge and per kwh costs. This will be my 4th antique wind generator installation and I have never had a single problem with any of them. If we could do it 70 years ago what are we waiting for?

8/2/2010 8:45:20 PM

I am not here to judge anyone, but you have to be kidding me right??? You would love too, but XXXXXXXXXX reason you can't or won't install one. Come on people, so an Internet search on wind turbines and there are as many styles and types and cost from DIY of a couple of hundreds bucks to $100,000.00 + the sky is the limit. Once you make a commitment to buy/build one and install it, you will find the money, time and energy to start changing you life. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, neither does you energy power plant. Buy it one piece at a time and built it over a few months. This is my plan to install my wind and PV panels, as I want a combo unit. I also want some kind of battery storage unit. So do some research, then make a plan and go for it, your paying for it one way or another. Good luck and God bless America...

7/27/2010 12:54:50 PM

For those concerned with costs of a wind turbine, check out the Mother archives. there is an EXCELLENT article on building your own wind turbine In Make magazine vol. 5. the estimated cost at time of publication (about five years ago) was $425.00. Granted with wind, taller is better for peak efficiency of energy production, however at that price you can put up one and in short order put up a second. I would like a blended system with wind and solar anyway. We are fortunate here in Iowa. Our state laws mandate that the utility company has to pay you for any excess energy you run back onto the grid. It isn't about the tax breaks like out in California. it's more supply and demand... if you supply it, you can demand to be paid! i want to try some small task related systems first. I want to try a small system that would just light the barn and barnyard first. Then get bigger as I get more proficient.

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