Overheard in a coffee shop today: “I took the turkey sandwich back to my desk, opened it up, and there was no turkey.”
You may have a similar story, but we hope it’s not about putting up a wind turbine in your community and not having wind. We have heard people say “This turbine will stand as a symbol of… ” or “Imagine visitors pulling into our community and the first thing they see is…”
We have even heard the phrase “boutique wind turbine” used as a compliment. We humbly submit that the purpose of wind turbines is to reduce our carbon footprint by generating electricity through wind. We have even heard stories that some people do not like the way turbines look. We think they’re beautiful, but we want them to be productive.
A responsible wind study is the only way to ensure that the turbine your community wants to put up will actually produce power, and not stand as an eyesore on the horizon. The phrase “Measure twice, cut once” is just as true when you’re erecting a $1 million wind turbine as it is when you’ve spent $12 on a few boards and nails for a home improvement project. Sophisticated wind measurement technology and meteorological expertise are now available even to smaller wind developers and community organizations.
So, next time you hear a community leader advocating for a wind turbine in your community, remember that you need turkey to make a turkey sandwich and you need wind to power a wind turbine. It ain’t a win if the blades don’t spin.