There was a time when it was not uncommon to see large sweeping windmills on many rural farms. They were used to pump water or run the machinery for grinding grain. Just a few decades ago, those days seemed to be nearly over with, but with the renewed interest in going green and trying to find ways to meet energy demands using alternative methods, modern technology is being applied to the simple windmill.
The graceful windmills from our past still work quite well for harnessing the power of the wind, but an even better type of windmill has been introduced across the nation. It is called the wind turbine, or wind generator. Wind turbines are mainly used in wind farms, for the commercial production of electricity. They have 3 blades which are pointed into the wind for maximum efficiency.
Many states in the USA either already have energy producing wind turbines, or are planning to build them in the near future. These states include Texas, Washington, Oregon, California, West Virginia, Wyoming, Minnesota, Georgia, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Maine, Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Virginia, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and massachusetts. The majority of these states have full fledged energy producing wind farms in use, while a small number of them only have a few wind turbines supplying electricity to single buildings.
While the controversy continues over the impact of wind turbines on wildlife, especially birds and bats, it seems the benefits gained by using wind turbines hugely outweigh any negative impact on natural wildlife. Studies show that the number of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible, while bat species do appear to be at risk during certain hours of the day. Since nearly nothing is known about current bat populations, no determination has been able to be made between the loss of bat life and wind farms.
Many wind farms are placed in locations already in use for farming, with cattle and sheep grazing contentedly in the fields beneath them. The animals seem to pay no attention to the towering wind turbines and have not been impacted negatively in any way.
With so much stress on going green, and the abundance of information on solar energy available today, many people have overlooked windmills altogether. They are a viable renewable energy source, whether used for your own home or on a commercial scale. Next time you travel across the landscape, look up. You just might see a windmill or wind turbine standing majestically against the sky.