Strong winds rip through Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Strong winds rip through Iowa

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With strong winds and dropping temperatures in the area, it's finally feeling like late fall in eastern Iowa, and it's not all bad for business.

On Thursday, we talked about how the summer-like weather helps contractors, on Friday, windier weather helps farmers and ranchers.

The few remaining leaves clinging to trees means more wind-energy production for Burco business owners generating power with their own Northern Power wind turbine.

Burco office manager, Maribeth Butters, said the consistent wind that doesn't gust faster than 56 miles per hour means they can keep their turbine running, which generates cheaper energy bills for the business at the end of the month.

"On a really gusty day where the wind is unstable, sometimes it will shutdown for a couple hours to save itself. That helps in the longevity of the turbine," Butters said.

Beth said their nearly $500,000 turbine has nearly paid for itself in energy savings, and it also generates a lot of attention.

"People just stop out of the blue to ask questions. Now that you see them popping up all over Iowa, it becomes an every-day sight you go down the road and see a turbine," Butters said.

Most people hate the wind, but this turbine saves more than $40,000 a year in energy costs for Burco business owners.

It's bad news for hair but good news for wallets.

"If it's a really gusty day where you have periods of where it dies down and comes back, not so much, but this nice steady wind is fantastic. I love windy days like this," Butters said.

When winds gust more than 56 miles-per-hour or change speed too quickly, turbines shut down. 

That explains why you don't always see them spinning during windy conditions.

Butters said their turbine is connected to an international network monitored in Vermont, and Iowa's turbines produce the most consistent wind-powered energy since the wind is consistent.

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