Saturday, May 16, 2015
The Texas Panhandle, Part 2: Windmills
When you drive up the Northwest Escarpment on I-40 and come out onto the Llano Estacado you see windmills to the north and east . . . hundreds of windmills, mostly the new wind turbine variety, to harness the wind that blows unobstructed across the plain for energy generation:
These gigantic windmills generate electric power in the range of thousands of kilowatts . . . some upwards of 5 megawatts. The Wildorado Wind Ranch (pictured above right) has 70 Siemens Mk II turbines each capable of generating 2.3 MW at peak wind speeds. These turbines have the capacity to power more than 50,000 households. Of course, as "green" as these windmills are, they have their own elements of controversy: noise pollution; bird kills; etc. In other places, such as Massachusetts, the NIMBY ("not in my back yard") opposition is vocal, but apparently not here -- the cows don't mind.
There are also the old windmills, constructed to pump water for people and livestock . . .
. . . sometimes standing in the same field with the new ones, which, at 85 meters high, are tall enough to require aircraft obstruction warning lights:
I even came across a windmill in a cemetery:
For these images (and more) in a larger format, visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.