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Buffet backs wind power; some communities displeased

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Despite continual reservations aimed towards wind turbines, the power source proves that it can contribute to the national energy supply at a comparable price. According to an article published by Bloomberg, the utility company of Warren Buffet, known as MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., recently placed the largest known order for onshore wind turbines. The massive purchase, about $1 billion, was placed with wind turbine producer Siemens AG, and it is Siemens AG who will be responsible for the upkeep of the turbines.

The colossal MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. order of 448 turbines will yield a combined capacity of 1,050 megawatts of energy; About the same amount of energy generated by a nuclear reactor. The turbines will be separated into 5 projects and will be scattered throughout Iowa.

Although normally thought of for its corn fields, Iowa is also a leader in wind technology. According to analysts from Raymond James, ‘Iowa is already notable for having one of the highest levels of wind power penetration in the world: 24.5% as of 2012.’

Although wind power may still cost more than traditional coal or natural gas sources, the renewable source has become competitive with traditionally cheaper options, being about 5.5 percent the cost of electricity generated from coal.

While Buffet’s financial backing foreshadows an auspicious future for wind technology, the inevitable infiltration of wind turbines into other areas of the United States is not well received by all communities. In New Hampshire, there is a group known as the New Hampshire Wind Watch who wish to stop the construction of 96 wind turbines in the Newfound Lake Region.

Their website provides many reasons against the construction of the turbines, and most notably the negative effect the turbines may have on wildlife. Unfortunately, other sources alluded that more concerns arose from aesthetic issues than from other arguments against the turbines since the turbines would be incorporated into the landscape surrounding the communities.

Regardless of the personal position, wind power technology has made some giant leaps over the last decade, with becoming cost efficient possibly its most impressive feat, and may now be looked to as a viable option for energy generation.



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