Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wind power footprints in the Palm Springs area with implications for the Mojave.

Today I needed to drive up to Joshua Tree to pick some things up from
My storage unit there. On the way up I stopped on a frontage road off
I-10 to check out the new wind power turbines. These units are huge
with a diameter maybe 20 feet across. They're monsters!

There have been wind turbines here for decades. Most were smaller units

on metal stilts like this one with a smaller footprint. Like the ones in the photo

There are still a lot of these older types left in the pass, but lately all the new ones going in, are much larger. From watching the Discovery Channel, I know the inside of
the large column is hollow with a ladder way inside going up to the top.
The head that the blade attaches to is large enough for several men to
Stand together topside. That’s all that’s being installed now, gigantic
Wind towers- pretty much the same story all over the country.

Here is an example below:

My main concern with both solar and wind proposals for the desert is the land
Required and what they have to do to the land to put up the “clean energy plants.”
Another huge concern with solar is the enormous amount of water required which
Will have to come from the underground aquifers but that is another story. Here is
A photo of what the land outside the fence looks like, it has not been damaged.
Well someone has been driving across it but other than that, not tore up.
Below is what the ground looked like just a few feet to the right of this photo:

Sure looks great, like a garden almost, remember this is a desert! Below is what desert land looks like when you put in one of these new, large scale “wind farms”.

Those rows of wind turbines go a long way into the distance, there have to be a lot of acres which will need to be scraped off to put these up under current methods of installing them. Note that most of these wind farms are fenced off with barbed wire across the top, in a sensitive animal habitat area where say big horn sheep cross from
The mountain range and move through a valley to another mountain range, this could be a disaster for them. Plus the desert tortoise might have a problem going around or
Through the fencing. Bad news dude, maybe you’ll come back in the next life as a
I know some of my readers are familiar with the desert but others have never
Visited one or driven through one, and only know them from the movies or tv.
Trust me on this one, you really want to visit one and see for yourself. These
Photos are a poor substitute for the real thing but it’s the best I can do. Remember
I did put a call out a few days ago for volunteers to take a field trip with me
To the site of the proposed BrightSource Ivanpah solar project where you would
Really get to know the desert up close and personal. In case you’ve forgotten that
Area here is a pic taken from a hilltop that I climbed to:

You know that view really is priceless, looking out toward the Stateline Wilderness area and it is my ardent wish that it doesn’t change from this to this:

Image is of the Dagget solar plant near Barstow courtesy of Google Earth.

Okay folks, hope you enjoyed your stay here on the back porch and I look
Forward to another visit real soon. As always, vaya con dios.


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