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Small Wind Turbines = Big Opportunities for Ohio Farmers

September 22, 2009

OTTAWA, Ohio - Wind could be the wave of the future for Ohio farmers who want to join the clean energy economy and help their bottom lines. While large wind-driven electric turbines offer renewable energy, some people say smaller, more affordable turbines scaled to residential use have an equally bright future.

The president of the Ohio Farmers Union, Roger Wise, says small wind turbines can help farms generate their own power and cut energy bills.

"It just offers a good opportunity for folks to make their carbon footprint less, and to contribute to a quality environment, and take advantage of savings from the electricity as well."

Some turbines can even fit in a back yard, depending on area zoning regulations, and sometimes excess energy can be sold back to the grid. Some of the costs of installing a small wind turbine can be offset through federal, state and local programs that offer grants, loans, tax credits and incentive payments for small wind installations.

Wise says smaller turbines offer an opportunity for cooperative development between residential, farm and rural business.

"Any number of groups can come together and create these initiatives, and benefit not only from the environmental standpoint and energy but also economically, so it's a good opportunity."

Wise says farmers can also reap the benefits of wind turbines indirectly by renting their lands for larger projects.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH