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Altamont Pass Wind Farm - Altamont, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DopeyDuck
N 37° 43.443 W 121° 38.821
10S E 619234 N 4176059
Quick Description: Thousands of windmills dot the landscape along I-580 passing through the Altamont Pass Wind Farm. This was one of the earliest and highest-concentrated wind farms in the US.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 2:47:13 PM
Waymark Code: WM66NX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member montythemule
Views: 10

Long Description:
According to Wikipedia (visit link)
"The Altamont Pass Wind Farm is one of the earliest wind farms in the United States. The wind farm is composed of over 4900 relatively small wind turbines of various types, making it at one time the largest farm in the world in terms of capacity. Altamont Pass is still the largest concentration of wind turbines in the world, with a capacity of 576 megawatts (MW), producing about 125 MW on average and 1.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) yearly. They were installed after the 1970s energy crisis in response to favorable tax policies for investors.

Considered largely obsolete, these numerous small turbines are being gradually replaced with much larger and more cost-effective units. The small turbines are dangerous to various raptors that hunt California Ground Squirrels in the area. 1300 raptors are killed annually. Among them are 70 golden eagles that are federally protected. In total, 4700 birds are killed annually. The larger units turn more slowly and, being elevated higher, are less hazardous to the local wildlife.

An advantage of this particular site is that under hot inland (California Central Valley) conditions a thermal low is developed that brings in cool coastal marine air through this pass, driving the turbines at a time of maximum need. Unfortunately this is not always reliable and with an inland high pressure condition the entire region can be both hot and windless. At this time additional power is provided by natural gas powered gas turbine peaker plants. Future development of solar power stations may provide a complementary source of renewable energy, because summertime heat events often feature abundant sunshine to compensate for the low winds."

Other resources:
Encyclopedia of the Earth (visit link)
Wind Farms of the World (visit link)
Date of Manufacture: 01/01/1981

Purpose: Electricity

Open to the public: no

Is This Windmill Functional?: Yes!

Windmill Farm: yes

Cost: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Museum on Site: no

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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x_xenolith_x visited Altamont Pass Wind Farm - Altamont, CA 9/8/2012 x_xenolith_x visited it
Team G-Man visited Altamont Pass Wind Farm - Altamont, CA 8/19/2011 Team G-Man visited it
saopaulo1 visited Altamont Pass Wind Farm - Altamont, CA 4/19/2009 saopaulo1 visited it

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