Looking for a wind farm community? In today's ever more eco-aware environment, many communities are choosing to live a lifestyle powered solely by wind power. Wind farms generate electricity through a collection of wind turbines. The energy the wind farms harness is channeled back into existing electric grids. Wind farms may consist of a few dozen to several hundred individual wind turbines spread out over hundreds of square miles. Nothing goes to waste with wind power because wind power consumes no fuel, produces no pollution, and the land in between the wind turbines can be used for agricultural or other purposes.
Wind Farm Community: Rock Port, Missouri
The 1,400 residents of Rock Port, Missouri have something to look forward to that most other Americans can't relate to: They will not have to deal with rising energy bills for the next fifteen to twenty years. That's because this small rural town in the northwest corner of Missouri is a wind farm community powered entirely by wind turbines, which have a life expectancy of twenty years. Rock Port is the first American town to operate solely on wind power. Loess Hills Wind Farm has four Suzlon 1.25 mega-watt wind turbines that specifically generate electricity for the whole town. The wind power is collected and transmitted to Rock Port Municipal Utilities, which then distributes it to customers throughout the town. Sometimes, there is even excess electricity. When this happens, Loess Hills sells the extra energy to the Missouri Public Utility Alliance in Columbia. Locals of this wind farm community can also make some extra money by leasing part of their property for installation of new wind turbines.
Wind Farm Communities in Texas
Texas is the top wind energy producer in the United States and is also home to the largest wind farm in the world: Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in west central Texas covers approximately 47,000 acres and has more than 400 wind turbines. Each wind turbine generator produces enough electricity to serve an average of 250 to 300 homes on a typical day. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the City of Austin the Wind Power Pioneer Award in 2005 for its leadership and innovation with its wind power program, whereby the municipally owned electric company buys wind-generated electricity under 10-year, fixed price contracts and then delivers it throughout the Austin electric grid. Houston is another wind farm community that powers one-third of its electricity with wind farm turbines.
Wind Farm Communities in California
California is another leader in production of wind energy and is home to some of the nation's oldest wind farms, dating back to the 1980's. Most of the state's wind farms are concentrated in three locations: Altamont Pass (near San Francisco), Tehachapi Pass (southeast of Bakersfield), and San Gorgonio (near Palm Springs). Altamont Pass is one of the largest wind farms in the state and provides energy for Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose. The state of California as a whole is a great place to live if you are looking for wind farm communities because of its Renewable Portfolio Standard from 2002. This state ruling requires a 20 percent renewable energy total for the state's utilities by 2020.
The only complaints American residents have filed about wind farms is that their appearance is not always something they want to look at. But if you are willing to put up with a few propeller blades in exchange for lower energy bills and clean energy production, a wind farm community could be the perfect new home for you and your family.