Harvesting Wind as Wheat
Stewart has been a farmer for many, many years. Back in 1998 when Australia’s early wind turbines were being installed, 5 were located on his property at Blamey in central New South Wales. Stewart had the insulation on their house upgraded and found that the noise from the turbines could only be heard when a very narrow band of wind from the west is blowing – not a common occurrence. Even the livestock seems untroubled as when he moved some up-country cattle on to the property they were soon feeding or lying in the sun under the towers.
I was talking to Stewart about WHI’s VAWTs and his face was lighting up like the rising sun in the middle of summer. Out came the little dog-eared pocket notebook that every farmer has tucked away somewhere in their clothing along with a stub pencil. As he mumbled to himself, numbers started to appear on the pocketbook page as he multiplied and divided against some formula unknown to me. All I could tell was the smile was getting bigger and bigger with each scratch with the pencil.
“Wow”! he exclaimed after a couple of minutes – “what you’re saying is that while the current monster turbines, that my neighbors complain about, net me about the equivalent of a 10 bag-per-acre wheat crop, these Wind Harvest ‘hedge-like’ turbines could increase the net to a 42 bags-per-acre wheat crop. What are we doing sitting here!”
Needless to say every other wheat cropper in the room turned their gaze towards us with their ears flapping like the wings of G186 Wind Harvest International turbine operating at full power. Stewart was talking their language and they wanted a piece of the action.
Why would farmers want WHI Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Systems (WHI VAWT Systems) ?
- Lower visual profile for us and our neighbors?
- Limit the noise irritation
- Protect the birds and other wildlife
- A smaller environmental footprint on the land
- Permitting likely to be less difficult
- Low-tech to install compared with the tall HAWT turbines
- Additional revenue can enable the farm or ranch to survive
- If existing tall turbines are installed, WHI VAWT Systems are complementary
- Our local workforce and be trained to operate and maintain the WHI turbines
- Fewer site development costs around the installation