Dunbarton Energy Committee
Wind is an attractive energy source because it is continuously renewable, has no emissions, produces no hazardous waste and is one of the least expensive ways to generate electricity.
After a slow start, hampered by the engineering challenges of dealing with constantly variable and sometimes harsh production conditions, the wind energy industry has entered a period of explosive growth in the U.S. It produced 1,000 megawatts (MW) in 1985, 2,000 MW in 1999, and 35,000 MW in 2009.
New Hampshire's first commercial scale wind project was dedicated on June 19, 2009. The Lempster Wind Power Project consists of 12 turbines producing an average of 24 MW a year, enough to power 10,000 typical New Hampshire homes, with a carbon dioxide offset equivalent to taking 5700 cars off the road.
Big wind farms are springing up all around the country, especially in the windswept Great Plains where they are popular with farmers because they have very small footprints, with crops growing and livestock grazing right up to the bases of the towers, and provide revenue to the landowners even in the otherwise fallow winter months.
Research is active into using wind power to produce hydrogen, a carbon-free clean fuel, and to pump water into storage reservoirs and smooth out fluctuations by using hydropower during windless periods. For more information, go to www.windpoweringamerica.gov