Chapter 3. Wind Energy in the U.S.
Humans have been harnessing the energy in the wind for several thousand years. Early uses included sailboats and windmills used to pump water and grind grain into flour — hence the term wind mill. In the 1800s, settlers in the western United States used wooden windmills to pump water, and many are still standing. In the late 1800s, the windmill was connected to an electric generator to produce electricity — hence, wind turbine.