Growing new energy: How Iowa raced ahead in wind power

When the boys and girls of Spirit Lake, Iowa, load their backpacks for classes this fall, each child in grades 5 to 12 will be packing a lap top computer provided by the school district.
This bit of good fortune was funded by a special initiative. But it is not the first time Spirit Lake has stepped up to embrace new technology. In 1993 – when “renewable energy” was not widely discussed — it became the first school district in the nation to install a wind turbine, a move that has saved the district some $200,000 in energy costs.
When that pokey Wind World 250 KW turbine, financed by the state and a federal grant, was paid off, Spirit Lake put up another turbine, this one a hefty 750 KW NEGMicon, in 2001.

Recycling wind turbines

By Catherine Colbert

Aging wind turbines – some installed more than 20 years ago – are getting a second wind. Towering gracefully among California wind farms, an estimated 10,000 machines are slated to be replaced by more modern and much larger wind turbines.

Instead of laying these wind soldiers to rest, a Massachusetts company is focused on breathing new life into them through what it has coined “The Ultimate Recycling Project.”

Aeronautica Windpower, as part of its business as a wind turbine and tower manufacturer, harvests the better machines from the field and refurbishes them to give them a second life. The firm likens the modern windmills to aircraft, as they’re stripped down to their frames and rebuilt with newer technologies and reporting capabilities to fly for another 20 years.