I don’t usually insert an article into the blog like this, but renewable and sustainable items like this I think are valuable. So, here it is.
Wind farms supporting upward to 200 or more huge wind turbines on 200-foot towers are becoming rather commonplace across West Texas these days, but what about smaller wind energy solutions for the single farm or ranch?
Joey Henderson, who is general manager of Porter Henderson Implement Co. with stores in San Angelo, Ballinger and Big Spring, observed the big gap between the large turbines and smaller units and decided to do something.
The demonstrator unit installed at the Henderson home office, east of San Angelo, gives prospective buyers an idea what a small unit looks like. The Endurance Wind Turbine is a 5-kilowatt model on a 105-foot tower with three fiberglass blades on a induction generator.
Henderson Wind Energy, a division of Porter Henderson Implement Co., has been in operation about a year and covers a territory made up of most of Texas and New Mexico, said Doran Reynold, wind specialist for the firm.
Reynold said the small machines are not competition to large wind turbines. They serve different purposes. The large turbines harvest the wind and supply electricity for thousands of homes or businesses. The smaller units provide clean, renewable energy for a single farm or a home.
“We offer 5-kilowatt machines that are geared more for residential use, either in town — if a person lives in an area which is zoned for the 105-foot tower — or a farm or ranch home. But they are predominantly geared toward rural residential application,” Reynold said.
“The 50-kilowatt machine we offer is more geared toward commercial application,” he said. “It can provide enough electricity for a cotton gin or a feedlot, even a small school district. They can produce up to 200,000 kilowatt hours.”
The commercial towers extend up to 140 feet on the 50-kilowatt model, he said. When the blades are pointed straight to the sky, it adds another 10.5 feet to the height of the residential models and 29.5 feet to the commercial models.
“We recently installed our fifth 5-kilowat unit at Munday, north of Abilene. We have a couple units around Big Spring and another at Monahans,” Reynolds said. “A 50-kilowatt model is currently under construction at McKinney, north of Dallas.”
The whole movement these days is focused on more “green energy” and it works hand-and-hand with West Texas where there is a wind source that is mostly untapped, Reynolds said.
Joey and Jeb Henderson represent the third generation to operate the West Texas John Deere dealership. Their grandfather, the late Porter Henderson Sr. became the sole owner in 1954 which was started in 1928 as Whitaker Brothers Implement.
In 1989, a major expansion took place with the opening of John Deere Sales and Service Center in Ballinger. It is interesting to note that Porter Henderson Sr. managed Whitaker Brothers, the dealership in Ballinger, from 1934 to 1936.
Porter Henderson Implement Co. added a third location in Big Spring in July 2001.
Although chairman Joe Henderson Sr. still maintains “veto power,” the Henderson Brothers have give him no real need to use a veto. They have grown the family business at a steady pace by latching onto the latest space-age technology to compliment the John Deere legacy.
In 2008, Porter Henderson introduced the Real Time Kinematics Network, the newest tool in precision farming. The main purpose of the RTK network is to correct signals which get distorted coming through the atmosphere from a satellite. The latest technology is also using satellite imaging to record where underground drip irrigation lines are located, so the farmer can plant cotton directly over the water source.
For the Hendersons, harvesting the wild West Texas wind is yet another challenge to better serve farmers and ranchers.