As financing options appear, wind power for homeowners takes off

Nancy Tabor's business is whipping up like a whirlwind in the dusty desert sands around Las Vegas. Tabor's company, McClane Electric, sells and installs small wind turbines and other alternative energy products in Sin City's greater metropolitan area. Last year, when the federal government launched a 30 percent tax credit for wind turbines, Tabor contacted Southwest Windpower, one of the largest makers of wind turbines and wind power equipment for homes. In January 2009, she joined their dealer network.

Then in August, Southwest made it even easier for the public to afford to give wind a try. The company secured for Tabor and other dealers a loan facility they could extend to residential customers to allow them to finance installation costs and avoid paying the whole tab out of pocket. Tabor now has more than 100 customers who are contemplating buying wind turbines.