Editorial: Buying into wind power

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Everyone wants to get in on wind power. Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens is building the largest wind farm in the world in Sweetwater, Texas. Federal rules have just been issued that should clear the way for Cape Wind and at least a dozen other offshore wind energy plants proposed for federal waters.

Hull is already pumping power from wind turbines into its town-owned electric system, lowering residents' electric bills. Staples is proposing mounting a wind turbine at its Framingham corporate headquarters. Hopkinton is studying sites for wind turbines at two schools. Committees in several MetroWest communities are drafting bylaws to accommodate wind power initiatives.

Any sailor knows the wind can be fickle, and not every wind initiative will prove economically feasible. But investment powers innovation, and the growing investment in wind power - more than $50 billion last year - should improve technology to get more energy from less wind.

But you don't have to attach a windmill to your chimney to get in on the wind power revolution. Steady demand is one of the things that will help alternative energy grow, and NStar is providing its customers with a tool to generate demand. Customers can request that either 50 percent or 100 percent of the power that flows to their homes come from wind. They pay a premium for the satisfaction of being part of the solution, which in most homes will be under $5 a month for a 50 percent commitment, under $10 for 100 percent.

Other utilities may offer similar opportunities. Those who wish to reduce their carbon footprints and let their utility payments help create a market for clean, renewable energy, should consider getting with the program.

MetroWest Daily News