We have traveled along the highways and observed the natural beauty of farmlands – seeds or immature plants installed into fertile soil to bring about the satisfaction to the palate and nutrition to the whole being.
What a delight to see these crops mature and experience the waves of grain or corn or – you name it.
Let’s consider solar or wind power for instance. I never considered solar or wind turbine farms before but I believe it is beginning to take hold.
While traveling torward Roxboro, North Carolina on U.S. Highway 501 – there it was! A solar farm right beside the highway. I’m not sure if the term is truly a solar farm but that’s how I would classify it. What would you call it?
I turned the car around and had to take a closer look. I then noticed a smart concept. There were animals around the solar panels with sheep and cattle keeping the grass manageable, and a donkey. I’m not sure how the donkey is used though.
Person County, North Carolina has a solar park. They seem to be popping up throughout the rural areas. It makes sense though so the individual communities could have alternatives for their power needs – and going green at that.
I had to investigate further and checked out Person County’s website about the solar park at http://www.researchtriangle.org/news-and-events/person-county-solar-park-expansion-nears-completion.
According to the website a new solar installation covering seven acres in the Person County Business and Industrial Center features row upon row of ground-mounted solar panels – 5,376 in all – angled toward the sun and visible from U.S. Highway 501.
The website identifies Carolina Solar Energy LLC in collaboration with Strata Solar LLC as designer, builder and operator of the 1.25 megawatt DC solar electric generator located in Person County for project owner Gehrlicher Solar USA.
With the new installation it appears the total annual estimated energy production will exceed 2.5 million kilowatt hours, enough to power 210 average North Carolina homes annually.
How would this compare to how many people could benefit from the crops harvested on this same land?
I like what Barbara Currier, director of the Person County Economic Development Commission, said about the use of the land for solar energy. “This project represents all that is environmentally sound for our community, including the sheep that graze along side the solar panels keeping the grass trim without fossil fuels, an increasingly recognized ‘best practice’ in landscaping circles.”
Do you think these wind turbines provide more power than the solar panels? Well, they certainly benefit those who live in the mountainous regions.
But, there are wind turbine fields in the coastal part of North Carolina mixed with solar panels and agricultural farms as well. We discovered this while traveling U.S. Highway 17 Bypass near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. I think this is an excellent mix of technologies combined with ancient techniques of producing food for our tables.
I’m not accustomed to seeing these large wind turbines, and I don’t notice them in urban the terrain. However, they appear more prevalent in rural areas. I guess they aren’t windmills any longer.
While traveling in Germany I also noticed the large wind turbines stretched across the vast land and they looked HUGE. I really enjoyed watching them turn although I had to keep my focus while driving on the Autobahn.
According to AENews, future of wind power is bright and shining as detailed studies by American Wind Energy Association (EWEA) have already shown that power generation from wind energy is most economical. “The consumers are reaping good benefits financially from wind power.” The article further mentions that wind is already directly curbing European electricity prices. http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/wind-energy-instruments-bigger-better/
AENews states “renewable energy production and demand growth is gaining momentum in many ways across the world. There is a booming demand of wind power today and all wind energy equipment manufacturers are gearing up to meet the demand and take advantage of it.” Based on their estimate Asia should now be leading the world with installed wind capacity.
So … where are we today? I surmise we can create our own electrical power, at least in rural areas, while creating fuel for the natural body through the continued creative use of our traditional farmlands? I think there is a way to combine it all.