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Lodi resident Bill Swearingen looks to alternative energy and starts his own wind power business

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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 3:16 pm, Fri Jun 24, 2011.

While staring up at the 135-foot-tall wind turbine that is spinning like clockwork, Lodi resident Bill Swearingen can't stop smiling as he describes how the turbine's blades are taking the ocean wind sweeping through the Montezuma Hills and turning it into energy.

Swearingen recently installed two wind turbines at E.B. Stone, a fertilizer company west of Rio Vista. While describing the project, large turbines stretch across the hills behind him, all moving even though it is a relatively slow wind day in the area.

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  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:59 am on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    As these are going on full scale building of wind farms and solar farms can be done. There is very interesting progress being made on off shore power sources like wind and wave generators which some countries are already using. I'd love to see a "green community" competition funded by the top 2% earners and who ever else believes in it (voluntarily) where they throw in a certain amount every year so the pot grows. This pot would be won by the community that goes that 90-95% green first. different categories to adjust for city size and population. How about extra federal funds for schools that meet the 90-95% category?

    The transportation industry is going to be the hardest to win over to green tech but there are developments there. I know there is some bias with this website but interesting possibilities still http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/solar-boats-ships-pontoons-ferries-solar-panels.php
    In the automotive industry there are new and more efficient engines being developed. I said somewhere else that there should be a yearly tax reward for the car company that sells the most 50MHP cars a year and which sells the car with the MOST mph a year. As the auto industry proves the power of some of these concepts can ignite a aviation revolution http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303635604576393270636772588.html
    Can you imagine the bragging rights for the first "green" airline?

    But I do realize all this is a mighty big day dream. The only way any of this would happen is IF something catastrophic occurred to our current power industry making us horse power minded Americans change our mentality.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:40 am on Sun, Jun 19, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Brian, I think that a wise spread of all the possible alternative powers is good. I would kind of worry about the long term implications of man-made microwaves being beamed towards the Earth. Just seems like the opening to a disaster movie.

    Here is what I think the future could look like for a balanced alternative power solution:

    First thing should be an aggressive campaign from the government to ENCOURGE, not force, residential usage of solar and rooftop wind turbines. This can be easily achieved by securing some outspoken celebrities to completely fit their house then campaign about the benefits. A second step would be to to offer five year tax incentives from the time they are installed, structured something like the charitable deductions where if you spent 30K on the alt. power then 5% of that a year is a tax write off.

    Second phase of this would be to encourage businesses to follow suit with their own encouragements. But since businesses get so many tax breaks already I think something more in line with a social encouragement would be needed. We've seen the Energy Star labels on appliances. I think businesses who meet a certain level of green, like 90-95% should get a special proverbial feather to stick in their hats as bragging rights and advertisement power.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:15 pm on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2862


    I did read something of the sort about how they are looking int o a bat detourant
    around the turbines. I'm not against wind power. It is a very old technology that has proven itself. However, solar power does seem to be the wave of the future in providing alternative energy with solar units orbitting the Earth and sending it back via microwaves.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:02 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Bill, if you are reading this have you looked are residential projects for homeowners likes these http://www.alternative-heating-info.com/Rooftop_Wind_Turbines_Do_You_Have_What_It_Takes.html

    I would think something along this line might be a nice boost to your business plan, especially after the first few are done and LNS does an article on the savings from them.

    I bet they would even be bat safe.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:56 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I would imagine it would be simple enough to design a kind of sonar warning signal for bats, a frequency they don't like or such, that would keep them away from the turbines.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:55 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Because bats are ugly.

    Relax it's sort of a joke.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:57 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2862

    Wind power is still only produces a small amount of energy. Yet the construction continues on these turbines even though they are directly responsible for the rise in insect populations because of falling bat populations. And we don't hear a peep from environmentalists.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:51 am on Sat, Jun 18, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2862

    Thousands of bats have died at the blades of wind turbines. Many farmers are experiencing increasing damage to their crops because of insects that bats eat. And many many birds of prey have fallen victim to these spinning turbines.



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