Nov 11, 2005

Harnessing The Wind

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photos by historymike

(Bowling Green, OH) On a recent trip to Bowling Green, I decided to take some photos of the wind turbines that the city's municipal electric utility has been installing over the past few years.

The gas station employee who I asked for directions seemed both clueless and disinterested in wind power.

"I don't know anything about wind power," she said, ringing up my Diet Coke. "Maybe somebody at the college knows."

As luck would have it, another customer knew all about the wind farm, and told me to drive on US-6 and I "wouldn't miss 'em."


The turbine hub soars about 270 feet off the ground, and the blades cut a circle with a radius of about 130 feet. I parked my car near the cornfield in which they stand and walked up to the turbines.

I am not sure what I expected, but the turbines are almost noise free; you can hear a faint "whup whup whup" if you listen closely. Placing your ear against the tower is the only way the machines seem loud. In addition, the blades turn more slowly than I imagined.

The wind farm's four turbines produce between 7 and 8 megawatts of electricity a year, and could power a village of up to 1,600 homes.

With all of the money that the city of Toledo wastes, one would think that it would make sense to invest in a project that actually pays dividends. Will anyone in the city or county government step up and be a leader in alternative energy initiatives that will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil but also help reduce our fleecing by First Energy?

8 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,
"Will anyone in the city or county government step up and be a leader in alternative energy initiatives that will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil but also help reduce our fleecing by First Energy?"

No way in hell.

They're way too beeply buried in First Energy's pockets...

That idea has three FATAL flaws:

1. It's logical.

2. It makes sense.
-and-
3. It would save money.

Any of these disqualifies the idea from consideration.

Besides, council could only see them if they looked in their rear-view mirror.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

Did you wade through piles of dead birds to get close to the windmills?






I didn't think so...

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed you stopped and asked for directions! ;)

Anonymous said...

Environmentalists don't like this alternative, clean fuel because it might hurt a bird or two.

Makes no sense to me. Wind turbines are much more feasible than solar.

Lisa Renee said...

Green Energy Ohio

A really good source of information and a way to get more involved for those who want to promote this in our area.

Personally I think the way to get First Energy to do anything is to start suggesting that companies like Green Mountain Energy be solicited to provide Energy for our area. They are providing energy for some parts of Ohio.

historymike said...

Hooda: Nope. no dead birds. As slow as those blades move, a bird would have to be drunk to manage to get hit by one.

Anonymous: Yes, I am an atypical male in the directions-asking respect. I have to add, though, it has taken me many years to get this way.

Lisa: Good info. The Republicans need to get over their fear of anything with the word "green" in it, and the Democrats need to do more than just pay lip service to alternative energy.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"As slow as those blades move, a bird would have to be drunk to manage to get hit by one."

Excatly!

Green and bird friendly too.

liberal_dem said...

When we visited the Black Forest last year, these wind turbines dotted the countryside. Although they detract from the natural beauty, the energy savings coupled with the reduction in all kinds of pollutants makes them worthy warriors in the battle against fossil fuels.

Yet, there will be great battles to be fought with the coal and oil industries who surely understand that these alternative energy sources will diminish their bottom lines.