At 265 feet tall, four gleaming white wind turbines tower over the tiny farm town of Rock Port, Missouri, like a landing of alien intruders.
But despite their imposing presence and the stark contrast with the rolling pastures and corn fields, the turbines have received a warm welcome here.
As Eric Chamberlain, who manages the wind farm for Wind Capital Group, eats lunch in a local restaurant, local people greet him with a "Hey Windy!" and many say they are happy to be using clean electricity.
"It doesn't pollute the environment, it provides tax revenue, creates jobs. I don't see a downside," said Chamberlain, who is something of a celebrity in this town of 1,400 people.
While growth in ethanol use as an alternative fuel has had a big impact on rural America, wind power has also been growing steadily for the past three years, with wind farms like this one springing up all over the windy expanse of the Great Plains and beyond.
While only 1 percent of U.S. electricity comes from wind, it is attracting so much support these days that many in the industry believe it is poised for a growth spurt. (...continue)