Travelers riding north or south on Indiana’s Interstate Highway 65 come around the bend and view an amazing sight. For miles on end and all of the way to the Illinois border, hundreds of wind turbines spin. The project is already the largest in world and is projected to generate 1000 mega watts of power from 600 active turbines. Because the project sells its electrical output to local wholesalers, the costs of transmitting the electrical power has been cut to almost nothing compared to the cost of building transmission lines. Meadow Lake Wind Farm is a stunning example of innovation and stewardship. So what does the future hold for wind generated power?
Wind Turbines Today
Windmills have been used to grind grain and power equipment for centuries. The powerful wind turbines of today are usually three bladed models perched atop a tower of anywhere from 60 to 100 feet high. The blades are up to 90 feet long and can rotate from tip to tip at almost 200 miles per hour.
Personal Wind Turbines
Wind turbines, sized to meet the needs of a rural owner are already in use, with new innovations entering the market almost weekly. Envisioned for the future are tethered windmills floating above even a suburban consumer’s home. Subdivisions of the future may well have locally generated wind power available to them from wind farms centrally located in each community.
Islands in the Sky and Sea
Already in use are islands of wind turbines generating power. The United Kingdom is leading the way, closely followed by Denmark, in terms of wind farm construction and utilization. The United States, Canada and China are also building wind farms at sea. Visionary engineers are designing vast floating banks of turbines that harness the power of mighty ocean air currents.
Generating energy by harnessing the energy that blows through fields and over the oceans of the world is fast becoming one of the best solutions in our quest for energy independence.