Powerful image to me

While striding around to capture the feel of the farm earlier this week, my eye caught sight of another towering presence up the road apiece.

Between the plants and memorials of a country cemetery stood sentry structures that have drawn arguments for and against.

In the old days, they were called windmills. Don Quixote battled them in classic literature. The Dutch harnessed their power. Putt-putt golfers avoid their blades on the felt greens.

Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click and hold on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.

In the United States of America today, wind turbines are built in some places as an alternate energy source.

Some folks argue against them, saying they are too loud, or that they spoil the beauty of the land around them. There are several pockets of them in Madison County, included the ones above. It’s many days very windy there.

I say build away, please and thank you. I like the way they look on the landscape. And more power to us.

Have you spotted wind turbine farms, and if so, what do you think of them? Are you for or against wind turbines in general? What’s your preferred source of alternative energy, and why?

50 thoughts on “Powerful image to me

  1. As long as we continue to be energy consuming monsters we are going to have to pick our poison. I don’t think they are ugly but the idea of having them in isolated wind farms like the ones along the Altimont Pass in CA makes sense instead of having them sprout up everywhere. There are some countries that have wind farms offshore. My guess is that is extremely expensive to build but offshore makes sense to me. I’m a big believer that diversity is good for survival and this is just one option we should promote until we have alternative energy means. FYI, there is a GE plant in town that makes the components. Every once in a while I will see one on the blades on a flat car. They are humongous.

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  2. We have a windmill farm just northwest of the city, I do believe they’re part of a project at Purdue University. I like them. I think anything we can do to improve our world and reduce nastiness is a good thing.
    (By the by, this wasn’t in my email? Without the reader, I wouldn’t have noticed it! Gosh, I hate those glitches!)

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    • I wonder what’s up with the email notification? Did I get unfollowed somehow? Glitches about, you and I know. Sometimes when I’m trying to hit the Gravatar icon I hit the follow click and end up unfollowing by mistake! On my iPad, the images are small and my finger are stubby. 😦

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  3. i’m all for renewable, natural sources of energy, and i happily embrace these, along with solar sources of energy. don’t think the noise would bother me, i love to sleep with a fan on ), and i’d rather have the view of these instead of a power plant.

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  4. I really thought my research on wind turbines was enough to recommend them. I wish they were visible to bats and birds. I think solar power has positive results and have not heard many negatives, Mark. I will not post any more about wind turbines until they create sonar or sound waves emitting to prevent death of creatures flying into them. At our car parts warehouse they sell these whistles that create high pitched sound to prevent deers and critter deaths, why can’t they put them on the wind turbines? πŸ™‚
    I love the stone structures in your photos, Mark!

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  5. We were in Oklahoma last weekend and we saw many of them, as well as semis carrying the enormous blades. I’ve seen them in Texas as well, but never around residential areas. We do have a lot of space, though, to put them. The Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas has 634 wind turbines. I can’t imagine seeing all of those. Or hearing!!

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  6. In Ontario, Canada this summer I drove past a stretch of them that went on seemingly for 2-3 miles. There must have been 100 or more. It was a bit overwhelming, but I don’t think it was a populated area. Alternative sources of energy are a good and eventually essential thing. They’re not as efficient or cost-effective as they will be in the future, but we’re going to have to rely on wind and solar power, not fossil fuels, sooner or later. The sooner the better, in my book.

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    • I think it’s a good idea to cluster them to maximize the effect, Jim. And yes, the sooner the better, to tweak and raise potential to better production. If they can do it in Ontario, we can do it here.

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    • That was likely north of Shelburne Ontario, was it Jim? Headed up towards Owen Sound. That particular stretch of land has always been known for its continuous winds. The property is private – there are cows grazing around the windmills – and is leased for right of way to the Windmill companies. I used to haul fuel to a distribution center (Co-Op) up past Wiarton (yep, Wiarton Willie – our version of Punxsutawney Phil) – I am here to tell you that you do not want to be up there in winter, the snow and white-outs are continuous. The snow banks are often higher than a tractor-trailer. Anyway – lots of wind is why they are there.

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  7. I enjoy them both for the work they do and for the way they look on the landscape. They are quiet and lovely and don’t emit dangerous chemicals. Love love love

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  8. I used to have a job where I was kind of a PA to a boss who installed high end security systems and he would often visit people in their homes and I would accompany him. They were very rich people. One of them had a windmill on his property which generated energy into his home. I thought it was terrific and a pleasant aesthetic as well. If it was noisy, I never noticed.

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  9. They are rather controversial here Mark although we have a slew of them in patches around the country side. The big ones apparently make a very deep sound that bothers some people and animals.The obvious problem with them is that it is not possible to predict when they will be producing energy – it depends on the winds. We have similar issues with solar panels – cloudy days are unpredictable in the long run. Because of the unpredictability of the power supply, it is often necessary to trade far more than was common before – selling extra production to other jurisdictions and buying more often. For instance Denmark is a world leader in wind power production producing 39% of total usage with wind. They say that they are the lowest users of petroleum for power in the world. But they have a dirty, dirty little secret. They are a large petroleum producer and they sell it on the world market and use the proceeds to subsidize alternate energy production – including wind. Of the 39% of their usage that they produce – they actually only really use a much smaller -less than half – of that directly, the rest comes when they don’t need it, so they sell it to surrounding countries. Of course that means they have to buy power at high usage times or when the wind is low. Some of that purchased power is not so clean.

    The technology for alternate power production is advancing in leaps and bounds. To me there are two areas where more needs to be done to increase its effectiveness. First of all we need to develop more efficient power storage systems – that would level out the peaks and valleys of alternate production. The second is that we to take a card from Mother Nature’s Hand and make smaller and more numerous production platforms. Here in Ontario, the government has a program where they loan individuals the money to set up solar generating sites on private property. The sites are used to power private homes and can sell extra power into the grid. The savings from the reduced power costs and the gains from selling extra power more than pay for the installations – leaving the home owner with a fully funded system and owning the site when it is paid for. If there were hundreds of thousands of these small installations all contributing and linked to power storage facilities – we could completely marginalize commercial power production and reduce emissions significantly.

    But a lot of that is pie in the sky right now and awaits future discoveries. In the mean time I too encourage alternate energy sources and do my best to reduce usage.

    Fun post Mark. thanks for bringing up the topic.

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    • Thank you for yur researh, as always, and your ideas, Paul. I’d be all for a small unit on my property to be self-sufficient and sell back to the grid if it produced more than I needed, that’s for sure. I wish that our societies would move more in that direction, yes, indeed.

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  10. There are several large wind turbine farms around here, one down in Palm Springs, and then the other one I see frequently is on the way to San Francisco. I like them. I think they are cool looking, kind of reminds me of something out of one of the Woody Allen films, or maybe War of the Worlds. I don’t get how they are noisy, never heard any noise from them (of course we are always in our car, zipping by at 70 miles/hour). We have solar panels on our house, have sold back energy to PGE (which is great – doesn’t happen often). We also have stock in bio diesel (from marine algae – waiting for that to come to fruition – I am sure it will eventually).

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  11. I have mixed feelings about them. I don’t particularly like the looks of them, but if they can harness the wind and lower the power bills, I’m OK with that. Ditto for solar panels – I hate the look, but if they work, great. In my area we don’t get a lot of sun during the winter, so I think solar panels would be a waste on most houses.

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  12. Our main power Company FPL (Florida Power & Light) believe it or not with an energy efficient home (we are two zoned heating/cooling system home) all appliances are new and energy efficient to include refrigerators, freezers, stoves/ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers (since I have multiples with a big family) I have never seen windmills close to us?! I have seen inland solar panels to me they are an eye sore and would never be on our beachside home! We do recycle, conserve whenever possible, our power bill including a inground pool runs us about $275/300 a month. The house is big 6,000 s

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    • oops the cell rang…the gang…sq.ft. My hubs likes the house very cool 70-72 degrees. FPL readily responds to any problems with cooling/downed lines, under ground utilities, etc. during any and all storms. So in conclusion it just costs to live the good life Terp! Gatorette.

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      • That’s a big monthly bill, Gatorette, but up here the similar big nut comes in the heating months. Not so much in our Little Bitty, though, with our new energy efficient furnace and small square footage. Thankfully. I think solar panels can be put up on the side of the house, by the way, if you have land, as to not ruin the aethetics of the house proper. Just saying that I’ve seen that done at some places. To each their own decision, of course. πŸ™‚

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      • True your winters can be very cold, snowy, long, thus heating costs probably on an annual basis in totality would equal somewhat-I just have a lot of sq. footage! No, my hubs would NEVER put solar panels on our home! Your right to each their own. Have a great night Mark & Karen. The Gatorette.

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  13. When we drive back east, we are guaranteed to see wind turbines up close and personal through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The scale of them never cease to impress me.

    I have talked to the Boffin, given that he works in energy, about it because I have wondered about their efficiency considering there have been many times when I have only seen half of them running at a given moment. For or against? I wish it were that simple. They have a higher up-front cost but a lower running cost both in fuel and environmental impact.

    Wind turbines are not the ultimate solution, but it is a question of how do they fit with our societal energy goals.

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  14. A few years ago, on a visit to the Mohawk Valley, I was surprised to see quite a number of them had sprung up on the tops of many of the hills. I can’t say they add to the beauty of the valley, but if they help bring more efficient energy, well that’s something.

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  15. We’ve had those for several years in this area bro Mark. They are used to irrigate fields around here. I’ve never noticed any noise though. They are a quiet source of energy in this area. And I’m the one with the sensitive ears, remember?

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    • If it’s quiet to you, sis Angie, it’ quiet, period. I want more of them if they’re efficient and doing a good job. I’d put one in my dang backyard if I could afford it and make it work right and … my dear wife Karen approved.

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