Innovation and cost-saving are hallmarks that define modern agriculture. So, too, unfortunately, is a low rate of return expected on the investment to make these things happen.
That’s also the way it is with wind turbines. Farmers are eager to increase their independence and reduce their power input costs, and turbines operating on their farms are seen as a way to do that, even if it will take more than 10 years to get their money back.
But is even that low rate of return realistic? Not always, as writer Don Stoneman explains in this issue’s cover story, best described as a cautionary tale.
Some things became clear while he was researching this topic. First, what goes around, comes around. A century ago, windmills were a major source of power on Ontario farms.