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John Hollenhorst ReportingIf you've driven through the town of Circleville in the last year or two, you may have noticed something out of the ordinary. It's a big windmill -- in fact, a huge windmill built to provide electricity for a single house.
One of the things we learned might surprise people around Circleville. It isn't windy enough there! At least that's what the local pioneer in wind energy told us. The other thing about Joe Dalton's windmill is, it has soured him on the future of wind power in Utah, at least under the current rules
His windmill stands taller than a ten-story building. He spent $40,000 on it. When it's windy enough, the windmill provides all the electricity his big house and his family needs. During the windiest months there's even extra electricity, which Dalton sends to the power company.
But Dalton thinks the rules are stacked against a small producer like him, making it hard to break even. He says people are always asking him if they should follow his lead into wind energy.
Joe Dalton: “If they’re a little bit older, I say forget it. You’re too old to ever get your money back out of it. As an investment, don’t do it as a money maker. Do it as a hobby because it will never pay for itself.”
That pricing issue makes Dalton wonder if Utah is serious about encouraging wind power.