March 14, 2014

windpower at Montezuma Hills

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Yes... Electricity to power all those warm electronic gismos I love so much.
I am truly indebted to you, Mr. P.G.&E...

Well, here's the story;
It is simple math--and the big investment corporations like New York Life Insurance are sinking huge sums into 4 million dollar wind turbines. French company EDF Engergies Nouvelles also has a big piece of the pie.
Iberdrola Renewables holds claim to "largest Montezuma Hills player".

Clean and renewable energy generation is big business but also helping to save the planet, at least a few megawatts at a time. Currently, no coal fired generating plants are being built in the U.S., so either the price is going to go way up or we're going to have to plug into sources like wind and solar.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I don't have a total count of all windmills, but I'd estimate 500 or more. There has been an explosion of windmills since I first started coming to these peaceful rolling hills over 40 years ago. At first there were only twenty or thirty, of a much smaller type. They are still generating electricity today, feeding into the grid. All these companies have contracts to sell their generated power to P.G.&E. But of course, initial investment is enormous.

The land for the turbines is leased from two dozen (+/-) local landowners, who continue to use it for sheep grazing and growing wheat. Wheat is the major crop here. Cows are allowed to roam in the stubble after the fields are cut. Ranchers and farmers receive sizable checks for the use of their land. Up close, the wind turbines do produce a bit of noise, but the cattle and sheep don't seem to mind. Bird-strikes is a common windmill problem.

Photographing Marin County - the exhibit and book       

1 comment:

Zoomie said...

These are interesting photos - I like how you positioned the sun behind the turbine in the first one - very telling! And the one with blurred blades is fun, too - they seem to bend, when we know they don't.

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