Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy


Harnessing wind energy on-farm reduces emissions from fossil fuels and provides a cost savings. Small wind turbines do not emit pollution and need no water.

A small wind electric system will work for you if:

  • There is enough wind where you live
  • Tall towers are allowed in your neighborhood or rural area (or you live in flat terrain with no tall obstacles nearby)
  • You have enough space
  • You can determine how much electricity you need or want to produce
  • You can interconnect with your utility service provider (assuming you have a grid-connection application)
  • It works for you economically. 

 (Taken from OpenEI Small Wind Guidebook)

The following resources will help determine if on-farm wind energy will work for your farm or ranch.

Farm Energy IQ poster with cartoon of an agriculture field.

On-Farm Energy Production - Wind

Is wind energy a viable option for your home or business to lower reliance on the grid supplied electricity? In this module, learn how to gauge your the wind resource where you live and calculate the likely annual electricity production.

A man reading to a child on his lap with people gathered in chairs around.

Biofuels and Community Participation

Extension and other natural resource educators can provide educational programming on renewable energy and potential impacts at the community level, and can be facilitators of community discussions about renewable energy. Sharon Lezberg provided training materials to approximately 100 extension, NRCS educators, and community stakeholders on ways to engage community members and stakeholders in assessing proposed bioenergy developments.

Farmer and Engineer Discuss System with an image of a video of people talking.

Thirsty Livestock? Use Sun or Wind to Power a Remote Watering System

Are you getting tired of hauling water to livestock in remote pastures? Jonathan Barter will show us the renewable energy powered watering system on his 210 acre livestock farm. This webinar is part of the 2014 Sustainable Farm Energy Webinar Series, partially funded by the Northeast SARE's New York Professional Development Program.

Off Grid Tour Content with a picture of a house being built next to text.

Powering Your Farm Off-the-Grid

Is it possible to operate a farm off-the-grid, and what are the challenges and opportunities? Raymond Luhrman will take you on a virtual tour of Fox Creek Farm and describe how his family operates their 350 member  Community Supported Agriculture operation from electricity produced right on site. This webinar is part of the New Generation Energy Webinar Series, partially funded by the Northeast SARE's New York Professional Development Program.

Savonius Rotor Report and Construction Manuals Screenshot with two construction pictures

The Savonius Rotor

One farmer's prototype of a silo-mounted augmented Savonius wind turbine that can deliver substantial power output, yet is inexpensive and simple enough in its construction, installation, and electrical engineering to be easily built and maintained on a typical small farm.

Additional Resources

The following resources, which were not funded or produced by SARE, contain valuable information.

USDA National Agricultural Library - Wind Energy: Find information about wind power technologies, research, policies and programs

ATTRA/NCAT - Renewable Energy Options: Publications and links to other resources

OpenEI - Small Wind Guidebook: Multi-chapter book and resource portal by state

e-Extension - Wind Energy for Homeowners, Farmers and Small Businesses: Research-based information from America's land-grant universities