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Quick Hits: Harnessing the Power of the Breeze


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Wind is the most economic form of renewable energy, but harnessing the power of air is wrought with problems.

Wind fluctuates depending on prevailing weather patterns, making windmills an inconsistent sources of power. Furthermore, the Earth's windiest spots are not exactly easy to reach. They're often located on mountaintops, far out at sea or miles into the atmosphere.

Nevertheless, purveyors of wind power plod on. Puget Energy (PSD) is expanding a wind farm on central Washington's Whisky Dick Mountain. The existing facility generates enough electricity to power around 60,000 homes, and the planned expansion will increase output by 17-22%. The company hopes to have the additional turbines online by 2010.

Puget Energy could probably bank on even greater success if it were to relocate its wind farm to a different spot. Why nearby Wind Mountain wasn't its first choice remains a mystery.

For more on renewable energy, check out Hoofy and Boo's always astute analysis:

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