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Small turbines harness wind

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High Five
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Small Windspire wind turbines use microclimate winds on a ridge in the Grizzly Peak foothills northeast of Ashland.

After federal and state tax credits and rebates, the out-of-pocket cost for the turbines was $3,500 apiece, which could pay for itself in five years.

The cylindrical turbines are quiet, and they don't have the fan-like blades of more traditional windmills that can chop into birds. And unlike their 60-foot-tall cousins, the turbines can tap into slower-moving wind near the ground at 30 feet tall.

The fact that windmills are springing up in the area has renewed some residents' curiosity about whether the technology could be used on the city of Ashland's 829-acre Imperatrice Ranch land below Grizzly Peak. Located across I-5 from town, the land historically has been used for cattle grazing, although in August, the Ashland City Council agreed to let Standing Stone Brewing Co. use a portion of the land to raise chickens and other livestock.

Read more at the Daily Tidings.

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