Last week I talked about solar-powered Christmas trees so this week I thought it was only fair that I talked about something similar in regard to wind-power. Solar power is useful once the tree is cut down and hauled into its location for lighting.
But, what about the growing of the trees in the first place? In Halifax County, Virginia, yes there is a Santa Claus who believes that Christmas tree farms should be powered by wind turbines. In fact, Don and Jenny Hochstein are using a 70-foot wind turbine on their Christmas tree farm to supplement their current electricity usage.
Because of tax breaks and incentives, they are paying only roughly one half for the $14,000 turbine and expect it to pay for itself in only 3-years. This is the kind of ROI they could never get, for instance, in buying a hybrid car.
If they produce too much wind on any given month, then the local utility company will roll back their meter and pay retail rates for the surplus. If the wind were really howling during the year and there was in fact a surplus at the end of the year, the local utility company would pay wholesale rates for the surplus.
And Virginia isn’t the only U. S. state with a wind-powered Christmas tree farm. On Highway 52 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Chapman’s Christmas Tree Farm is also using a single wind turbine to provide 25-percent of the electricity for their business.
Now, combining wind farms and Christmas tree farms may get some environmentalists’ panties twisted in a bunch. But, consider the alternative. Powering farms with coal is even a less environmentally friendly alternative. And, of course, some of those wind turbine shafts look pretty good decorate with lights.