Wind Farms Provide Energy Choices

Musings of a Pig Farmer by Larry Sailer

Larry Sailer, sitting on the base of a windmill

Three years ago, I was farming in the middle of the biggest construction zone I have ever seen.

Construction of Whispering Willow Wind Farm-East began in December 2008, and the wind farm became operational in December 2009.  This turned into a yearlong quagmire of muddy roads, muddy trucks and even muddy mailboxes!

All day, every day, the gravel road in front of my house was heavily traveled by gravel trucks, cement trucks and support equipment.   All this heavy truck traffic literally tore the road apart every day, and every night they would rebuild it.  They tried using various kinds of rock to make the road last. They even tried extremely large rocks; some were the size of footballs!  One week I had six flat tires from the very sharp rocks about the size of grapefruit.  Because the road conditions are hard to describe, I’ve added some video and photographs for your enjoyment.  (At least I enjoyed looking through them!)

Now you might be thinking I’m not a very big fan of windmills by this point, but that’s not true at all. I’m actually a fan of this renewable energy source.  For example, Whispering Willow Wind Farm-East produces enough energy to power 50,000 homes.  How can I be against that?

I consider energy to be similar to farming.  Just like we need all types of farming operations to produce enough food for the growing world population, we also need energy choices and a mix of all kinds of power.  We need wind farms, as well as generating plants run by natural gas, coal and nuclear.  America also has dams that create a huge amount of hydro power and solar panels.  Some of these options are better than others, but the point is we need a mix.  We cannot throw all of our eggs in one basket.  (Yes, that farm pun intended!)

Although I wouldn’t want to have all of that construction in front of my house again, I do see the value of this wind farm and am glad it was built here.  I use power and know it must be generated in many different ways to have enough to meet our growing energy needs.  Just like we need many different ways to raise enough food for everyone in the world, we also need many ways to generate enough energy.  Choices are important!