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NES Customer Harvests Wind for Power on Farm

windmillOne visit to Mr. Wilbur Sensing’s Brentwood, Tenn. farm proves exactly why he would stick with a 10-year-old dream to generate power from the wind. Green pastures provide a scenic backdrop for geese landing on a nearby pond. Who wouldn’t be inspired to “think green” here? Even its name, “Windy Hill Farm,” makes it the perfect spot to harvest renewable energy.

Mr. Sensing’s windmill is the first to be connected to the NES power grid. It is capable of producing 250 kilowatt hours of energy every month.

“If it works like we hope, it could generate a fourth of our power,” Sensing said. By his calculations, he will earn 30 cents for every hour there’s wind.

The wind has to blow at least eight miles per hour to start generating power. As a safety precaution, the blades will stop turning if the wind blows harder than 56 mph.

imageVaughn Spears, senior engineer at NES , said the Southeast is generally considered one of the worst places to use wind for electricity, but Windy Hill Farm is certainly an exception.

Green energy generated by the wind is great for the environment, but harnessing that power does not come cheaply. Wind installations can cost over $10,000, while solar panels can run upwards of $20,000. With 13 grandchildren, Sensing views it as an investment.

“This as an experiment,” he said. “My grandchildren are more interested in the horses and merry-go-round when they come visit, but I hope this windmill will be operating for a long time.” The impact of his investment will benefit his grandchildren whether they realize it now or not.

Fall 2008


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