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Wind-Produced Energy Is Already Substantial

November 18, 1990

James Flanigan's column, "Clean Air Act Will Fuel New Technologies" (Oct. 31), about the benefits of the federal clean air legislation is off base on at least one point.

Commercial generation of electricity by wind and solar power will not have to wait until the next decade as Flanigan predicts. It has been growing steadily in California during the past decade. In 1989, wind energy produced 1% of the state's (the world's eighth-largest economy) total energy demand for that year, enough to power a city the size of San Francisco.

Commercial generation of electrical energy by wind power began in 1981. Since then, turbine performance, energy production and the number of turbines continue to grow, despite the lack of tax incentives or government subsidies.

Los Angeles and Kern counties are recipients of a major portion of this energy. During windy days, wind turbines in the Tehachapis produce more than 200 million watts of electrical power, enough to satisfy demand in the Antelope Valley.

The wind industry is not waiting for clean air legislation as an incentive to begin commercial generation. We have been producing electrical energy without air pollution for the past decade.

KEVIN COUSINEAU

The writer is manager of electronics research and development at Zond Systems Inc., a wind farm development firm in Tehachapi.

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