An alternative to large scale wind farms is "windcrofting," installing rows of smaller-scale turbines for power generation. In this arrangement, farmers rent land to the company which installs and maintains the turbines. They can also buy cheap electricity from the turbines, and the excess is sold onto the grid. Because the turbines are typically set in rows between fields, no productive farmland is lost from this scheme.
Proven Energy is beginning a program for windcrofting in the UK, and has already installed more than 1000 of their turbines on farms. Even before the company had begun advertising they had more than 30 farms enrolled in the program. According to a company spokesman, "If we had a turbine like this on every farm in Britain we would provide about 50 per cent of Britain's electricity."
There are generation efficiencies from using large-scale turbines, but the smaller turbines can be installed in more marginal locations. They also cause less visual intrusion (for people who think they are unattractive) because the smaller turbines are mounted on shorter masts. And farmland is generally going to have the open space that makes wind power effective.
via: Eco Street