Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iowa wind farm impressive up close

I got a pleasant surprise driving up to a family vacation. We drove through Charles City, Iowa, and ran smack into a huge wind farm.

Mid-American Energy built a total of 50 huge turbines, which produce about 75,000 KW of electricity. The wind farm was constructed in early 2008.

We also saw an even larger windfarm on I-35, near the Minnesota/Iowa border. I think it is called "Top of Iowa" (there are maybe three different "sites" within the same area). Started almost 10 years ago (built in 2001), it contains a total of 147 turbines.

I couldn't believe that it's been that long in service. Wind farms were the last thing on my mind in 2001, so hats off to those who got this farm up and running back then.

It's pretty awesome to see so many of them at once. Some of my family described it as "alien" or "spaceship" looking. If you have the opportunity to visit a wind farm, it's worth it. Just to see the landscape lined with rotating turbines, and to see how large they are. It's also cool to know that Iowa is one of the leaders in wind power in the US, and that each turbine is helping meet our energy needs, without pollution.
For more information, visit this List of Iowa Wind Farms