Tehachapi Pass Wind Farms

 

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Windmill or wind turbines began appearing in the Tehachapi pass in the 1980's. The area is one of California's largest wind resources for power generation. Many different styles of wind turbines can be seen in the area as it changed over the years. The one to the left of this text are older style but not the oldest.

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Older installations generate kilowatts per turbine while newer models can generate up to 3 Megawatts. California state law requires that at least 33 percent of the electricity delivered to customers be produced by renewable sources by 2020. Southern California Edison in order to meet this need is signing up solar customers and entering agreements wit the wind farms around the state. While in Tehachapi we learned about some of the pros and cons. Without having given it much thought I just assumed windmills were good. But it seems if you live by or near them they can be noisy and the blades spinning can cause a strobe effect on the sun light.

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A few months back I read an article in Forbes magazine about the come back of the California Condor and the wind farms. The condor was near extinction and is stating a great comeback and this is a hindrance for the wind farms. As the Condors are coming back they are expanding their range and getting closer to the area. Under the federal and California ≠endangered species acts, itís illegal for anyone to kill a condor without first securing a permit to do so. If a wind mill kills a Condor the owner could be charged criminally. There are currently manufacturers working on new radar systems, that if a Condor is spotted in the area, will shut down the wind farms. On the other side of the coin we learned how all of the motels and restaurants are doing a good business with al the construction going on in the area and new jobs caring for the wind farms.

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               click photo to enlarge