New Wind Farm Model for Future

New turbines produce energy at speeds as low as 8 mph and generate 20 times more energy than earlier machines

Published: 12-Jan-2004

BIRDS LANDING, Calif. -- Environmentalists say the dozens of turbines that rise more than 300 feet over wheat fields and herds of sheep here represent the future of wind energy -- and a model for overcoming the shortcomings that have kept wind from threatening the dominance of fossil fuels.

The High Winds Energy Center, completed in December in the rolling hills between San Francisco and Sacramento, features turbines that can swivel with the direction of the wind, produce energy even if the wind is blowing less than 8 mph and generate 20 times more energy than earlier machines.

This new wind system, along with similar ones being built around the country, promises to produce electricity at competitive prices -- all without disturbing surrounding farms and wildlife, two of the obstacles for wind power today.

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