New technologies are emerging in wind energy that allow for distributed power (power created at the point of consumption) to be mounted on rooftops or hilltops without the need for high towers. One design that I am intimately familiar with as I was the patent agent, is the ducted fan wind turbine.
This design and another emerging technology are capable of producing 3Kw in a 15mph wind with a 12′ fan. Imagine then 1000 of these turbines on rooftops in Bandon for example and you now have a 3MW wind farm without any negative impact on the environment or any of the associated voltage losses attributed to long transmission lines.
Utilizing the grid for storage would allow excess power to be sold back to the grid and at a fraction of the cost of a typical wind farm.
Small electrical coops and municipal or public utilities might be able to enter the power generation business at low cost and reinvest those profits into the community. Counties like Coos which is rich in wind resource may no longer have to be dependent upon federal timber subsidies to fund basic public services like health care, education, housing, youth centers, etc…
Projects like this require input from hard working citizens wiling and able to do the research to set up public entities like this, find and write for grants, work with regulatory agencies, administer the funds but benefits to the community can be immeasurable. Presently I am working on an article for an upcoming publication on this very topic and will be describing in detail the merits of distributed power, the slow erosion of the Rural Electrification Act and new technologies. I will post a link to the article on this blog.