Oct 11, 2017
The business of wind energy isn’t only huge companies; my sons and I run our own small wind farm in Eastern Oregon called Lime Wind.
I got into the locally owned renewable energy business because I felt a responsibility to the planet because of Climate Change and I felt I had the capability to do something about it. I also wanted to build a sustainable career for my family.
I believe when we generate power here in rural eastern Oregon with local ownership and the renewable resources we have, we can keep most of the wealth in our state and in our communities while providing carbon free energy to urban areas that need it.
Before Lime Wind, I was a woodworker building custom doors and windows. Now I manage and maintain six Nordtank 500 KW turbines with my two sons above a closed cement plant in a rural area of Baker County, Oregon. The land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and our wind farm was the first wind farm built on public lands in Oregon. There were a lot of hurdles along the way and it took plenty of training and self-educating in order to make the concept become a reality. The turbines are now fully operational and provide enough energy annually to power about 600-800 households.
We continue to promote local renewable energy of all types, but the landscape has change and small independent power producers are having trouble getting projects off the ground. There is more sun and wind in rural parts of eastern Oregon, and our rural communities could use the industry, but the same opportunities that I had in developing Lime Wind are not here now to develop small locally owned renewable energy projects.When we do not value all the benefits of locally owned community renewable energy projects we shortchange ourselves and our future.