(GULF SHORES, Ala.) Sept. 23 -- The wind. If you work or live close to the coast, you know the wind almost a constant visitor; filling our sails, refreshing us on a hot day. In a subtle form, wind can transform a nice day.. into a great day. Too much wind and the results can be dangerous sometimes even disastrous. But just enough wind and the result can be positively electric! And at LuLu's Restaurant in Gulf Shores, that electricity is in the air! That electricity comes from a newly installed, wind turbine.
Why a wind turbine?
"Well, it's just a baby step, you know," Mac McAleer said. McAleer and his wife, Lucy Buffett have taken a significant step toward making their landmark eatery more green with this sky blue "Skystream" wind turbine.
"I wanted it to bring awareness," Mac said, "that we all need to think about this that we all need to make a difference in the world today with the energy problems we have whether it be coal or solar or wind we all need to chip in!"
Now, the turbine won't take LuLu's off the power grid. In fact, it's only going to benefit part of the restaurant and bar complex. The Bama Breeze, named after a song written and recorded by Lucy Buffet's brother Jimmy.
"So I just had the thought one day... why don't we power the Bama Breeze with the Bama Breeze."
"So this is genuine Alabama Breeze?" I say, teasing Mac.
"It's not from Florida, Mississippi..."
"I don't believe so! It's coming off that coast out there!" he says, laughing.
So just how much power will this turbine put in the wires of the Bama Breeze? About 40 percent of it's needs. Not bad! But there's another benefit, according to LuLu's manager Johnny Fisher.
"We actually sell energy back to the power company, so how about that?"
"So you're telling me the meter spins backwards?"
"it sure does!"
As far as the folks at Lulu's can tell, this is the first wind turbine on the Alabama Gulf Coast, but they hope it won't be the last, says Johnny.
"Not everyone can afford a wind turbine, but you can afford to recycle or buy local foods, so do your part! that's what it's all about!"
"So you're making a statement?"
"definitely! LuLu's always makes a statement!"