Wind farm development is playing a huge role in a clean energy future. While mass wind power may offer a beneficial energy alternative, the construction of wind farms creates a great deal of controversy – from the destruction of natural habitats and dangers to birds and bats to the actual effectiveness of wind as an energy source. Some even argue that wind farms are ugly, disrupting the scenic coastlines and natural beauty of the world. Take a look at these wind farm pictures and let us know your thoughts – ugly or simply amazing?
Image by Wayfinder_73
The San Gorgonio Pass wind farm is one of the largest in California, generating 615 MW of power and comprised of 3,218 turbines.
The world’s first floating wind turbine began producing energy just a few months ago, installed off the coast of Norway. If the Hywind performs as expected over the next 2 years of testing, the concept could make offshore wind farm development much more efficient.
Whitelee wind farm went live in late May of this year and is currently the largest wind farm in Europe. Located in East Renfrewshire, Scotland, the onshore farm includes 140 turbines and can generate enough electricity to power 180,000 homes.
Maple Ridge wind farm is currently New York’s largest wind farm and is located in the rural farming area of Lewis County. Operational since 2006, Maple Ridge is responsible for nearly 75% of New York’s total wind power capacity.
This alternative energy concept creates an entirely new look for typical wind farms. Designed by an Arizona State University student, freeway sign wind turbines like these could generate enough electricity to supply a small apartment at low wind speeds and require no additional land usage.
Horns Rev wind park, off the coast of Denmark, was was the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it was constructed in 2002. The 2nd phase, Horns Rev 2, will push the farm ahead of the present offshore leader. Still, the Greater Gabbard wind farm currently under construction in the Thames Estuary will be the largest wind farm in the world when it becomes operational in 2011.
The present title holder for the world’s largest offshore wind farm became operational in late 2008 off the coast of Lincolnshire, England. Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm generates power for 130,000 homes but will be surpassed by the Greater Gabbard park mentioned above.
Another of California’s amazing wind farms, Tehachapi Pass is also one of the oldest wind farms still in operation. Since the early 1980’s, turbines in this area near the Mojave Desert have been upgraded and expanded. Currently about a dozen different companies generate electricity in the Tehachapi Pass wind farm.