The middle of the U.S., the country’s breadbasket is known for its plentiful land. But more than just the land is being harnessed these days though, so too is the air above it. Areas in the middle of the country generate some of the most consistent wind in the country. The coastal areas also produce significant wind.
On my most recent drive across Kansas, I stopped briefly to check out the Spearville Wind Energy Facility in Spearville, Kan.
Take a look at the massive wind farm located directly off Highway 56 in Spearville, Kan.
Wind farms are really a fascinating sight. I had the chance to go up in a wind turbine several years back, and the machinery at the top was probably what you’d expect it to be, but still very cool. After climbing up through the base, the top also provided great views of the surrounding land.
Europe is the leader in offshore farms, but the U.S. takes the top spot for onshore wind farms. A 2010 release from the U.S. Department of Energy lists Kansas (3,646,590 gigawatt-hours) as the state with the second greatest wind energy potential. Texas (6,527,850 GWh) is the far and away leader. Check out the wind map for your state’s wind potential.
At a time when energy is on everyone’s minds, wind provides a unique opportunity. Wind is provided to us by nature at no cost, why not use it more effectively? That might be a question many people ask.
Harnessing the wind can range from individual turbines for owners who are looking to meet their personal energy needs, or several hundred turbines in one location that provide energy for a vast area. One of the greater challenges with the large-scale wind farms in rural areas is transmitting that energy to larger population centers.
Despite being one of the world’s top wind power generators, wind energy only makes up about 2 percent of U.S. electric power. The country’s continuing commitment to wind energy will be an interesting topic to follow in the coming years.