THE BUFFALO RIDGE WIND TOWERS
Western Minnesota is a wind power hotspot and in the past 6 years wind farms have begun to pop up all over the landscape to take advantage. In an encouraging sign of the marketability of alternative forms of energy, the town of Hendricks has begun to promote the high concentration of windmills in the area as one incentive for green-minded families to move from the city to a more rural location, as in this excerpt from the city's home page:
"The residents of Hendricks have focused on creating a town which is a perfect place for children. Our school district is one of the best in the nation. Our weather is temperate and provides for four seasons of fun. We are well grounded in our past, as we continue to worship in a prairie church which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. We look to better our tomorrow through efforts such as our wind farms and organic farming. We believe you will find the Hendricks Minnesota quality of life second to none."
SPEND A NIGHT AT THE MIDWEST CENTER FOR WIND ENERGY
If you like the steps Hendricks is taking towards a more sustainable planet, but still aren't sold on the whole package, you might want to consider a night or two "atop a bluff within the world's largest wind farm" at the Midwest Center for Wind Energy. 75 to 100 dollars will get you a night of lodging on the cutting edge of alternative power in the US, not to mention a continental breakfast. Fellow guests to this wind power epicenter include some of the world's top aeronautical scientists and technicians.
With the ever-unstable cost of crude oil consistently rising, it is more important then ever to show support for alternative means of power. Even if you can't make it to Hendricks, MN there is at least one simple way you can show your support: The 3.3 million Xcel Energy customers in the US now have the option to buy blocks of wind power that will supplement the traditional forms of energy they usually consume. After signing up, a portion of your energy (proportional to how many blocks you buy) will come from local wind generation. (Thanks to Jess at Greenlight for the tip.)
THE CHANGING MIDWESTERN LANDSCAPE
This is a great way to single handedly increase the use of a clean & renewable energy source and make a strong statement in support of a new type of sustainable fuel economy.