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.

Next: cemeteries.


  1. I have tried this before, and then I have to put in passwords etc. sigh. OK. Once again: These photos of the trucks and windmills are magical! I love the windmills-- well, I really like they way they look. There are masses of them along the crests of the hills just north of the Wichita Mountains. They are special to me because I took my mother out to see them on our last trip out roving in the car. Not long after she became bed bound and died shortly after that. We drove and drove until we got as close to them as we could. We met the man whose company maintains them, and he told us all about them. They are gigantic things, striding across the hilltops, and their deep thrumming you can feel in the soles of your feet!

  2. Great Windmill shots - both the old and the new. They work well in Texas, but I can see why folks don't want them in more populated areas and areas with lots of birds. Barry