Thank goodness its Friday! On Fridays I will post a photo from the ranch and discuss the subject. Take a gander and see if you can guess what we are looking at…

Montana Wind Farm: Photo Courtesy of Katy Jane Angwin

Nope, they’re not your modern day wind mills. Actually quite diferent from wind mills used as early as the late 1800s in places like the XIT Ranch of Texas to draw underground water for livestock. These modern day wind turbines are found in wind farms across the globe, generating 2% of the electricity in the U.S. today.

On the drive through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico last week these things dotted the horizon. While I lived in Dalhart last year I remember looking out at the night sky (more like morning on my way to work at 3 AM some days) and watching the blinking lights off in the distance from these towers. They are pretty majestic to watch and quite the distaction along I-40. If ole Boone Pickens has anything to do about it, we’ll being seeing more of these in the near future.

Wind Turbine Facts

  • The U.S. has capacity to generate more than 35,000 MW of energy from wind turbines and leads the world in wind power
  • In 2008 wind power accounted for 42% of U.S. new power-producing capacity
  • Wind power in the U.S. provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 9 million homes, avoiding the emissions of 57 million tons of carbon each year
  •  The world’s largest wind farm is located in Texas
  • The microclimate created by wind farms is actually beneficial to crop production
  • Turbine blades sometimes interrupt ground radar returns, affecting storm tracking and aircraft direction
  • A large number of turbine blades are manufactured in Little Rock, Arkansas
Do you have any wind farms in your area? What are some of your experiences or stories about wind power?