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Biglow Canyon Wind Farm shim John & Kristie

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misc :: Thursday, July 3, 2008
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm
SHERMAN COUNTY, OR :: I love roadtrips, but they're a little more expensive these days. My trip through Central Oregon and back totaled 1000 miles. Optimistically, my Pathfinder gets about 20 mpg on the freeway, although likely a couple miles less considering the way I drive. So on this trip, I must have burned through at least 50 gallons. That's a lot of fuel and a lot of dollars.

I'm in the camp that is glad gas prices have risen. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only thing that will motivate citizens, government and corporations to become serious about our unsustainable dependence on oil.

As I drove by the hundreds of beautiful windmills in the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, I hoped I was witnessing an aggressive push towards alternative, clean energy. I hoped it would prove remarkably successful and would not be another shortsighted and problematic fad. I hoped that someday sooner rather than later, I would be able to drive by those windmills again in an electric car that was powered directly from them. How cool would that be?

Currently, wind power only provides 1% of the US's energy needs, but wind farms are being constructed at an accelerating rate. In fact, in addition to tripling the size of the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, Oregon is in the process of installing the largest single wind farm in the world, capable of generating nearly a gigawatt of energy - enough to power 225,000 homes!

If you'd like to know more, there is a lot of interesting information on wind energy at the American Wind Energy Association's website.

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on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM

I've heard people argue that Windfarms are too ugly. I have to disagree with that. I've always thought that they looked graceful out there. And with a much smaller footprint than say, a coal plant, its a lot better than just looking at a herd of cows.

on Monday, September 1, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Really nice shots. I love windfarms, I really need to get out and see those. I really like the shot at the top of the blog and the one on the first row left side - very nice composition.

I find it interesting that those pillars of liberal and environmental causes - the Kennedy's like alternative energy as long as it does not mess up their view of the ocean. See Cape Wind project on google.

Sadly, wind or other alternative soures will never provide enough energy - our only choice is nuclear. I for one would rather burn oil than glow. If you really want to see something scary read http://www.kiddofspeed.com/ the site design stinks, but the effort to read the content will be rewarded.

on Monday, September 1, 2008 at 9:05 PM

I love the clouds in the shots. Were the blades of the windmills moving? I wonder if you used a slightly longer shutter speed to get a little blur of the blades - how would that look? The faster shutter speed makes them look like they are not doing any work...

One other thing to consider when you are driving that electric car down the road is where will you put the used-up 1,000 lb of Li-Ion batteries that need replacing every few years. Just remember that an electric car is just trading present environmental problems for new ones. Just think of the millions of pounds of battery waste. What will we do with that?

on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 2:56 PM

I want to know what happens when the wind doesn't blow. Does the fossil fueled generators kick in to replace that lost generation? Can it do it as fast as the wind stops?

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