Farm gets wind power

Once hoisted and bolted into position the two Windspire wind turbines immediately began spinning in the light breeze, ready to directly produce 110 volt A/C to a large house and a barn/shop at the Alpha Beta Hops Farm located on Butler Creek Road, just north of Ashland.

Steve Pierce and his wife, Rebecca, made the commitment with the guidance of their son, Morgan, to become more self-sufficient. Randy Warren, a longtime local contractor, was selected to sell and help install the 30-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide, propeller-free, vertical device, which now provides half the power to the property.

Warren's Green-e-Technologies company has been searching for the past several years for such a technology. Green-e-Technologies is the local distributor for Mariah Power, based in Reno, Nev. The Pierce hops farm is the first site up and running with this technology in the state of Oregon.

These turbines can start spinning with winds at around 2 miles per hour, whereas the 150-foot monsters in some gorges need 15 miles per hour just to begin operation. As the Windspire pays no attention to the passage of the sun, it keeps on silently generating during the late afternoon and through the night. It is rated for winds up to 105 miles per hour, so there is no worrying about a gusty storm taking the wind out of your sails.

"It's far more efficient than solar, generates around the clock while turning your meter backward when you are away from home. The fully integrated system pays for itself in about four years, thereafter turning the unseen wind into hard dollars," Warren said just after installing the second wind generator.

Steve Pierce said that neighbors were flocking to the site and commenting very favorably on the look and lack of noise.

"Rather than imposing industrial structures that offend the eye, these turbines are kinetic art that enhance the landscape," he said. "Mariah Power, which makes the Windspire, re-tooled a defunct Detroit area auto parts manufacturer and saved hundreds, potentially thousands, of jobs.

"With the right incentives and government that provides support — look to Europe as an example — rather than roadblocks and delays, alternative energy could mean millions of jobs for the U.S.," he continued. "After all, these are generators any schmoe, like me — a retired teacher, can now afford to install. This is just the affordable alternative energy the country needs."

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