Monday, May 19, 2008

Lots of windmills

Construction of the largest wind farm in Wisconsin is complete, We Energies announced today.

The Blue Sky Green Field wind power project in Fond du Lac County consists of 88 wind turbines spread across 10,600 acres in Calumet and Marshfield, east of Lake Winnebago. Until this year, the state had 30 wind turbines generating electricity at a variety of sites across Wisconsin.
I drove from Madison to Manitowoc last night on Highway 151 and was going to blog about the two massive wind farms I saw. Dag gum it, the Journal Sentinel beat me to it.

I was going to post on the mass expanse of land these things covered. I personally think they look cool; in an artistic, sci-fi movie kind of way. The big blades slowly turning are almost hypnotic to watch. But they seemed to go on forever. They were in sight from outside of Waupun until I made the turn East towards Chilton. That was about 40 miles of highway travel for the largest wind farm in Wisconsin.

Those windmills also produce a significant amount of electricity, 145 megawatts of power, or about a quarter of the greenhouse gas-free juice that Kewaunee puts on the grid. Kewaunee is visible for maybe 5 miles when traveling on State Highway 42.

The point is, if you want to replace 20% of the 16,000 MW that is currently used in Wisconsin with wind power, there will be a windmill everywhere that you look (except for Dane County, which will be exempt from siting of unsightly wind power).

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