The Power of the Wind

Photo by: Mikell Herrick

Photo by: Mikell Herrick

Did you know that people have been using wind energy since as early as 3000 B.C.? Apparently, the ancient civilizations were onto something.  Today, we’re well aware of the importance and advantages of efficient energy, and wind power is one of the best, fastest growing sources of efficient power. According to a report by the Energy Information Administration, wind energy is predicted to grow by 34% in just three years.

So how does it work? When the sun heats up an area of land, the air there absorbs some of the heat, with the hotter air rising quickly, and cooler air rushing in below—this is the wind.  Wind turbines, the devices used to create wind power, capture the kinetic energy (or motion) of this wind and turn it into mechanical energy, which in turn creates electricity.  Small wind turbines—not surprisingly—power small devices, while large ones can generate a substantial amount of commercial electricity. It’s a simple, efficient design whose potential is limitless.

What does all this mean to us at Harbec Plastics? We’ve been involved in wind and renewable energy for over a decade.  Recently, though, we’ve made truly great strides.  We’re excited to announce that a major project between us and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has begun operation, bringing wind power to three businesses in the idyllic, farm-filled area of New York just a few miles from Lake Ontario.

The 850-kilowatt (kW) turbine, with blades 300 feet above the ground, is the largest wind turbine funded through this program and will generate more than 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, while offering incentives for rural homes, farms, and municipalities seeking wind power. Furthermore, any clean-energy power not used by the businesses will be transferred to the power grid in exchange for credit on future power bills.  It’s a beautiful partnership in efficiency.

And to think, it all began over 5,000 years ago.

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