Wind Energy

On our drive across and back Washington state for a speaking engagement at Write on the Sound, in Edmonds, WA, we passed zillions of hop yards, apple orchards, bing cherry orchards, and vineyards.

We also passed wind turbine farms, galore! 

At one point, we had the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at one of these giants and learned that: 

  • Each individual, joint-free, seamless blade is 148 feet long, 11.2 feet wide, and weighs 23,098 pounds!
  • Standing over 400 feet tall, each complete wind turbine has three blades, with a rotor diameter of more than 300 feet — nearly the same length as a football field.
  • One wind turbine can power up to 700 residential homes with environmentally friendly, carbon-free electricity.
  • A single wind turbine needs approximately one-half acre of land and uses 40 acres of wind space.
  • Blades sweep an area of 75,000 square feet with each rotation.
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What energizes you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

58 thoughts on “Wind Energy

  1. Hi Laurie

    Life energises me, at every scale.
    It can be washing clothes, writing code, arguing economics or politics.

    Actualising something out of the infinite possibility.

  2. Laurie, wind farms like this are impressive and I loved learning more about them. On the Yorkshire Moors I once went right underneath one and it was awesome … one could sense the energy right there and then! 😀😀 Being out at sea or by the coast always reenergises – wish I had the chance more often!

  3. What a wonderful questions. And thanks for the info about wind turbines. I don’t see that many here on the East Coast (although there’s one on Cape Cod that’s kind of an outlier). When my guy and I traveled cross country we were mesmerized by the wind “farms” we witnessed in Nebraska. And on our journey from the SF Bay area to Yosemite we spy wind farms way east of Oakland quietly stirring up energy. It is ….energizing seeing power created this way.
    As for me? Writing energizes me, and walking, and meditating. I realize that it’s not being around people for me (that kind of sucks the energy out) but looking within instead.

  4. We have a couple of wind farms about 2+ hours north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. They are beautiful and better than some energy sources but take up so much land. I feel a bit divided about them.

    I find energy in working to making progress on social causes. Being in nature. This past weekend I participated for I think over the 7th time in the Big Sit (international bird species citing event); we saw 40 bird species in a 12 hour period (down from 58 last year but the weather was windy so we didn’t see small birds). This week we will be planting small trees.

    So many other things bring energy, being with my nieces and nephews and their little ones is high in my list too.

    Perhaps Ted here said it best, life energies! Viva life!

    • Audrey — I had no idea they had windmill farms in Wisconsin. I just learned something new. And yes, I’m divided, too. The windmills actually kills hundreds (if not thousands) of birds per year.

      I enjoyed reading about what energizes you. And like you, I agree with what Ted said: “Life energies — viva life!”

  5. Lovely post and photos. I am most energized by two things. One is solitude, which I am enjoying now, aware of migrating geese above and the valley below. The other is intimate relationship which I experience with my family. My daughter, son-in-law, and toddler granddaughter were here for three days, and my heart is still singing. Love is the greatest energy in the world.

  6. The wind energy I miss most is that from my clothes line at our previous address. Wind energy in my sails now? Great Amazon reviews on my memoir.

    Of course, family love trumps all!

    • Marian — Line dried clothes are The Best! And aside from family, it’s a great turbo boost of energy to receive a good book review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or BookBub (better yet, all three) 🙂

  7. Interesting and important article as the different sources of energy are likely to become even more costly we have to harness the other sources of energy to ensure that the ones which are available are not finished up too early.Thanks for sharing.

  8. Laurie, I was awe-struck by the number of wind farms we encountered while traveling to the West Coast. What incredible technology! I recall that one reader questioned the viability of constructing wind turbines on arable land. There are millions of acres of non-arable land in the Western Deserts that may have no better purpose than to use for wind or solar farms. What energy turns my sails these days? Setting and achieving doable goals, nothing feeds success like success!

      • I was going to attribute that quote to someone but, dang, it seems everybody’s said it at least once. Even Bob Ross.

  9. I like the aesthetic of wind turbines. That extreme angle upward in your photo is cool.

    Great learning more about those turbines. A certain world despot seems bent on fighting them – even claiming the are an unsightly blight on the landscape, are mass bird slaughter sites, and that wind turbines cause cancer! Phwh! Sadly, he has a sycophantic cult following who parrot his fallacies. But, give them all the fracking fields, oil derrick fields, and deepwater drilling platforms you can destroy the environment with ASAP!

  10. When I visited Worthing in Sussex, England last year (the last place my parents and I lived before we moved to the US) I was delighted to see windmills out in the English Channel lining the horizon. I can imagine the winds whipping along there creating a huge amount of energy. I would love to see some on the horizon off the coast of Los Angeles! What energizes me? So many things but probably number one is being at the ocean… looking at the endless water whether from a pier or a boat or the beach… all those negative ions lift me up physically, emotionally and spiritually.. and I am fortunate to live close by!

  11. Scotland gets 180% of their energy from wave turbines and wind turbines. Washington State is coming fairly close and with solar and new waste removal energy producers (Thank you Bill Gates! and Governor Inslee) our state is nearly all renewable green energy with thousands of new jobs. Those blades come into our port in Olympia and most of the solar panels are made in a city near where your speaking engagement was.
    I have to say that all the new climate changes and greening up truly energizes me. Turning off the Fossil Fuel industry really energizes me! And all the students who are working and speaking about greening America – They want to be able to breathe
    laughing really energizes me

    (blog is fixed!)

    • The myth of bird slaughter is a myth…yes a few birds are done in, but usually within a month of installation the birds figure them out and actually play in the drafts. Why we had 4 birds kill themselves on our glass front door panel after feasting on our grapes until they were maybe drunk??? or ecstatic???

      • Patricia — Oh, that’s good to know. Not about the deaths of your drunk, suicidal birds, but about the very few birds kills (usually within a month of installation of the wind turbines). Thank you for coming back and sharing that.

        Also, I just commented on your blog and it didn’t show up. Hmmmm…

    • Patricia — My hat is off to Bill Gates and Governor Inslee! I, too, love the students who are working and speaking about greening America and the rest of the globe. And laughter just can’t be beat.

      (Thank you for letting me know about your blog. I tried leaving a comment yesterday and I didn’t see that it “stuck”)…

  12. Interesting specs on the wind turbines, Laurie. We have several working wind farms in California and I love to see them when we travel up and down the state. Some people think they’re not very attractive, but I really like them. And above all, I thin my grandchildren energize me. I have to stay vital to be around for them. That’s excellent motivation. 🙂

  13. We have a large and initially controversial wind farm on one of the Ridgelines not far from where I live here in Vermont. And we drive through an even bigger one in upstate New York when we visit family in Canada. I find them majestic looking, powerful; a sign of our energy independence. Kuddos to your commenter who put the kibosh on the windmills-kill-birds myth. More birds are killed by domestic cats than have ever been killed by windmills. Glad that one’s dying out.

    As for my getting recharged? A walk in my woods, a visit from my grandchildren (one at a time, thank you), and sitting in silence all help recharge my batteries. A good night’s sleep is vital too, of course.

    • Janet — I’m glad to learn that windmills killing birds by the hundreds/thousands is a myth. I’d heard it and felt bad about it. To learn that it’s fewer birds than are killed by house cats makes me feel much better.

      A walk in the woods, solo visits from your grandchildren, and sitting it silence. Ahhhhh….

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