Blowing in the wind

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The wind is one of the most valuable resources as is evident from the many electricity-producing wind turbines that spot the countryside.

Not every location is a good location for one of the huge turbines. The Alta-based 13-year-old company Anemometry Specialists completes testing to make the determination if the wind can be beneficial in many locations - from cornfields to copper mines to mountaintops reaching these areas in all-terrain vehicles and even helicopters. Testing has been completed from coast to coast, in 33 different states.

"Wind is the least costly source of energy," reasoned Anemometry's Rob Hach of why turbines are sprouting up in so many locations, "and it's natural and renewable."

Anemometry Specialists is a growing company as the demand continues. They are considered a "specialty" as there are only about a dozen businesses like theirs, Hach said.

The testing is completed by inserting a 197-foot tower 5 feet into the earth. Wind speed, temperatures and direction is recorded to a box and information can be retrieved through a cell phone or satellite. Reports are examined quarterly or sometimes annually. It can take one year to five years of gathered information to determine if the area is a feasible spot or not to place a turbine.

The testing can cost up to $20,000, Hach said, but a lesser price than putting up a turbine and then discovering the spot is not ideal. At the end of the testing, the towers are taken down and the individuals or group are left with information that will help them decide if they will go ahead and put up a turbine to benefit them. Anemometry Specialists do not put up the wind turbines.

Employees of Anemometry transport the towers - broken into 16 pieces - to the location being tested and install them on site.

The customers include individuals up to billion dollar corporations, Hach said. The company is expanding to keep up with the demand, he added.

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