The West Texas wind is beginning to blow more cash into our local economy. Wind turbines are popping up across the area and changing the look of the South Plains skyline.
In the past decade wind power has become the fastest source of electric power in the country. Recently Texas became the number one producer of wind power in the U.S.
While private companies are behind the wind farms popping up across the area, one Crosbyton man has decided to take advantage of the savings and is building a wind turbine in his very own backyard.
Don Handley is dishing out $10,000 for the 33 foot residential turbine. Handley says it's a small price to pay when he looks at the big picture.
"The time has come. It's not going to be tomorrow, it's now when people are going to have to think about conserving energy and we're trying to cut cost of electricity for our home where it's affordable for us," says Handley.
During the winter months, Handley's electric bill is $320 - $385. The wind turbine is expected to cut that cost by 50 to 75 percent. And aside from saving money, Handley says he's saving the environment. Wind turbines benefit the environment because they have no emissions.
"God has blessed me with years of enjoyment of Mother Nature. I would like to think my children and grandchildren will have an inheritance of the environment that they might be able to enjoy," says Handley.
While this turbine will slice into Handley's electric costs, wind farms across the area are blowing money into the South Plains economy.
"You don't have to drive very far from Lubbock to see what kind of economic development is going on in this industry," says State Representative Carl Isett.
Isett expects wind farms to continue to pop up. In fact, crews are installing several wind turbines on this property located off of 50th and MLK and the McAdoo wind farm in Dickens County supplies enough electricity for 70,000 households.
These projects pour money into the local economy through significant property taxes and state taxes. Wind projects also create local jobs.
"You know people always complain about the wind here. I think more and more people will see it's one of our greatest natural resources," says Rep. Isett.
Handley is one who has recognized the wind's value and he thinks others will soon follow in his path.
If you would like to learn more about the residential wind turbines, you can contact Handley Trading at 675-2008 or 577-0322.
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