Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sustainability: wind farming

Have you ever driven on Hwy 10 through the eastern slope of California, near Coachella Valley?  Its lovely country. The mountains rise 9,000 feet up, with deep passes and slopes. Its not green, rather dusty and barren. Just like what you would imagine a meeting of mountains and deserts to look like.

If you drove blindly in like I did there's a chance you were surprised, maybe even awestruck, by the sight of a massive wind farm on the San Gorgonia mountain pass. It’s one of the windiest places in southern California. I remember that day fondly.

We had been driving for hours. It was hot. Our car lacked air conditioning. The tape deck was jammed with Modest Mouse's first album "This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About Nothing".  It was one of those travel days where the only thing left to do is focus on the road.  But even that gets tiring.  Maybe you're thinking about nothing. Maybe you're thinking way too much (I usually fall into this category)....And then BAM.... out of the blue -these massive wind turbines pop up...They move slowly. Methodically. Amazingly, they hum.  It’s extraordinary.

I clearly remember that moment. Captivated. That’s what I was.

Well, looks like North Carolina is going to have the chance to surprise some folks, too. Both Perquimans and Pasquotank Counties Board of Commissioners approved a wind farm capable of producing enough electricity to power 75,000 homes. Atlantic Winds will begin producing power by 2013. The project straddles county lines and will result in landowners receiving $1million annually in leases...for fifty years!!!

Now thats rural development.

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