Comments about ‘Amelia Nielson-Stowell: Backyard wind turbines face resistance’

Return to article »

Published: Saturday, Oct. 24 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

My question is if there is no ordinance regarding windmills, why it would be illegal to put one up in the first place. Laws don't give us permission to do something; according to Utah State Code, if it's not on the books as something that's illegal, then it's not illegal.

So even if there is no ordinance

We have to wait for local cities to create one so we can build a wind turbine?

Great idea!

This is a great idea. I was wondering when this would happen. It just makes sense to become as efficient as possible. I'm no tree hugger, but this is very interesting. How long would it take to make back $13,000 on power bills? Also, when the power goes out and the generator still powers the house, that could be life-saving. I'd like to see how this compares to solar power.


As long as it isn't a skate park, it is fine!


Where can I buy one. ernie@hotpropertyauction.com

I want one.

Why this has not been widely publicized has me a bit confused. They are an asset and they can save billions is oil and coal dependence for power companies. Many rural area farms have converted to these wind generators and I think it's a good idea in residential housing. As for property value, it would be a plus for me.

My biggest concern in researching these is the longevity of the turbines and maintaining and repairing them. The one improvement I have been waiting for is the incorporation of pitch changeable props to neutralize them in higher than design winds. They have built in clutches to maintain speed but they can wear and overheat. Although less than 50 feet high, they should still have aircraft warning lights on top if near any airports or in flight patterns.

I wouldn't be surprised if the power companies come out with some major campaigning for a state law to ban these power saving wind turbines for residential use, with all kinds perceived safety reasons plus loss of revenues issues for them.


The article helpfully explains that a wind turbine is a "mechanical windmill." As opposed to what? What kind of windmill isn't mechanical?

Solar guy

I'm not sure who researched this article but the current incentives do not cover 50%. The fed covers 30% and the state caps the incentive. No engineering costs or permit fees are included. Don't be misled but by all means consider clean energy.


I love the idea of installing a device like this that will ultimately offer free non-polluting electricity, these small backyard turbines are expensive at the onset though, maybe as time goes by the cost can decrease.

Driving through a windfarm in Minnesota last summer gave me the heeby-jeebies, there was something about those huge, slow moving turbine arms that just creeped me out, don't know why, I'm probably the only person who ever had that reaction to a wind farm!


Go people go. These should and must be about everywhere there is enough wind. It is only smart and it makes common sense. Of course the placement must be safe and sound and the local laws should allow these with temperance. Hopefully in more congested areas these can be allowed with smart laws.

Sierra Clubber

We will never win the war against climate change as long as planning and zoning commissions exist. Their sole purpose is to impede environmental progress by slowing down the installation of dispersed power sources.

Great idea, but...

The turbine shown in the photo is next to a horse farm. It is on a large lot and away from the house. Putting them on smaller lots next to houses is a different matter. I can understand why people would object. I've seen photos of wind turbines that are cylindrical in shape, about two feet in diameter, and not much higher than the roof of the house. These look a lot more feasible than the ones shown in the photo.


I think this is a great idea. Take advantage of the power mother nature has given us! The turbines in the picture are attractive and don't seem to be an eyesore at all. Maybe the idea will catch on and we can reduce our dependance on man made power. Good for you, Mr. Brooks.


It's very appealing to be able to generate your own electricity. However, a lot of wind turbines in my sub division would really stand out because our power lines are buried. I can see why people wouldn't want 45 feet structures in their face. Hence cities need to have an ordinance in place.


I had one of these in Wyoming and I can vouch for the cost savings over the long run. Yes there are maintenance costs but they are minimal. Yes the utility companies are wary but as yet there are no "punishment" type tactics being anticipated. When I installed mine in Wyoming the power company was oblivious and the tech even laughed. Then 2 years later I had regular power bills that were virtually non-existent. However if these home windmills catch on (aka lower costs) you can bet there will be repercussions. The big utility companies will demand monetary reparations because companies like PG&E and Pacific Power like being the big boys on the block and they like exclusive. My advice is to get them in while you can because soon that may change. States in fiscal trouble like Utah may decide to treat these things as potential tax revenue streams and that will kill the incentive. Government simply can not stand up to their cash cows (political donations) on these issues and the average citizen will get rolled.

Count on it.

I wonder

how thrilled the power companies will be to think that we can create our own power and thereby reduce our dependency on them? Yeah, this is going to happen.


Michael Brooks is not an unbiased, neutral observer on this subject. Selling wind turbines is his business. Naturally he is going to say how wonderful they are. This is all great publicity for his business, and puts money in his pocket.

The truth is that wind turbines are of marginal value at the most. The initial costs are very high, and it takes years just to break even. After a few years, the maintenance costs become so high, that it greatly reduces the net return. Yes, they are eyesores, and noisey, but the biggest downfall of wind turbines is the fact that for many days out of the year, the wind doesn't blow strong enough to make the turbines productive.

Scotty - as in "Scottish Power"?

Wind power is highly efficient - even more so than solar. That's a fact.

Wind turbines are nearly silent - especially the smaller ones intended for single residences. That's another fact. Maintenance on them is minimal.

Let's say that after tax credits and other incentives you're still looking at amortizing $8k. If your current (no pun intended) electricity bill is $150/month and you cut that by 40% with your wind turbine, then you've recouped your investment in ten years - all the while reducing your demand for coal-fed power and the need for more coal-fired power plants. And if you use your wind power to generate electricity that charges your electric car overnight (ala the new plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt), then you're also reducing our dependency on foreign oil.

I think the wind turbines are beautiful - both in operation, and in terms of what they do for both our economy and the livability of our communities.

Clear the air, folks. Wind & solar are the future.

I just wish I lived in a part of the world where it was windy.

M Brooks

Scotty, I am not in the wind turbine business and am not making any money off of this or benifiting from the publicity. You seem to be a little confused on all of your facts.

Scotty WHO???

I happen to know Michael Brooks and he is not in the Wind Turbine business. I also am aware of the company that sold it to him so get your facts right. I tend to believe you know as much about wind power as you do Michael Brooks!

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments