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MN pix: Wind Farm - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
May 28th, 2007
01:12 pm


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MN pix: Wind Farm
Early in my trip, I stopped at the rest area on I-39 near Rochelle, IL, and I took a few pictures of the wind farm that is near that rest area.  It was a warm and hazy day.  The jaggy effect on the windmill blades is not a JPEG artifacts -- it is atmospheric distortion.

I don't understand why one of the main public objections to wind farms is aesthetic.  While they're not as lovely as trees or mountains, I find them prettier than almost any other works of man -- certainly nicer to look at than cell towers, high-tension power lines, or grain elevators.

In this shot, I was trying to get an interesting effect from the two masts that were lined up in my view.

For any camera geeks reading this -- both of these (and most of my pictures from the trip) were taken with my Canon 20D and Tamron 200-500mm lens.  The EXIF information from the first shot is: focal length 277mm, aperture f/9, exposure 1/800, ISO 100.  The second: focal length 359mm,  aperture f/10, exposure 1/800, ISO 100.  (Both images are cropped moderately to improve composition, then reduced in resolution a whole bunch to post on the web.)

Although I didn't take more pictures of them, I was pleased to see at least two more wind farms on my way home through Iowa.  Wind energy can't solve all of our problems, but it seems like a no-brainer that we should have a lot more wind power than we do; every kilowatt hour from wind is one less from coal.

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(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:May 28th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)

Anti-Wind Legislation Moving in Congress

Thanks, Phil, good post. You're right about wind being a no-brainer. That being the case, you may want to check out the latest bright idea in anti-clean energy legislation in the U.S. Congress: Subtitle D of H.R. 2337. This legislation would make it a crime, punishable by a $50,000 fine or a year in jail, to build a new wind power plant without a certificate from the federal government.

More background information, including our written testimony on the bill (we were not asked to testify on it in person) and a list of state wind siting regulations already in place, here. To take action to oppose this misguided legislation, go here.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association
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Date:May 28th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you - I think wind farms are really rather aesthetically pleasing! There's a big argument in VT because on the one hand we're a state that is really in favor of alternative energy but a big tourist state so some people think the wind farms will "ruin tourism" - bah! Ok, maybe don't put them right on the most famous ridges but still...

I like them.

More appealing than VT's other obvious choice which is methane. :-)
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Date:May 29th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Go wind power!

Great to see you last week. I hope the rest of your trip went well and that you enjoyed your time in Iowa. We'll see you again soon. Real soon. Almost stalkingly soon!
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Date:May 30th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
There's a company that wants to put a wind farm just west of me (as in JUST west) and the biggest objection from my neighbours is the look of it. Uh, guys, it's 70 acres of scrub pasture with stunted cedar trees. Not exactly a great view regardless of how you think the windmills look.

I, personally, like how they look. Since one may end up about 600 meters from my office, that's a good thing.
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Date:May 30th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
70 acres? The wind farms around here (like the one photographed here) stretch for miles.

How much noise do they make? Would you hear a windmill 600m from your house? Would it be annoying?
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Date:May 31st, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I like them. They are everywhere out here. The only noise I hear from them is the wnd which (duh) is there no matter what. You do occassionaly get one with a squeaky bearing making noise but COME ON....they are not generally right on top of your house...but you bet you bupke if I could get one I would since it is free electricity and living by the water I get great breezes...
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