Study Says Personal Wind Power Generators Better

John Davis

A study by South Dakota State University says that personal wind power generators are a better way to go compared to commercial wind power generators… at least in one county in South Dakota.

This story in the Mitchell (SD) Daily Republic says in the Agricultural Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Workshop at the Wagner High School Auditorium last week, students from the school found that at least for Charles Mix County, there are some issues with commercial wind power ventures:

According to Charles Mix County Commissioner Red Allen, transmission issues factored heavily into the group’s decision.

It was the group’s opinion that the difficulty in finding transmission lines to distribute the power from a large wind farm meant that personal-use windmills were much more feasible.

“They’re recommending that people in Charles Mix County go with small wind generators for their homes,” he said. “You can get one that produces 800 kilowatts per month for $12,000 to $14,000.”

Allen expects the group to present its complete results at a set of future meetings in the area.

He wasn’t surprised by the group’s results. However, it did reinforce his disappointment in the way the federal government handles energy produced in the county.

“We gave up thousands of acres of riverboat land when they built the (Fort Randall) dam,” he said. “The state only gets 18 percent of the power.”

Some experts say that if all the wind power in South Dakota were captured, it could heat half the United States.