Monday, January 18, 2016

Wind turbine towers, Brandon, South Dakota

When I saw these great white cylinders resting beside the highway in South Dakota, I thought they must be pieces waiting to become part of the Keystone XL pipeline, idled by the governmental fight over its existence.  In fact, however, when I looked up Marmen Energy, I discovered that they are actually on the opposite side of the environmental and climate spectrum: these are all towers upon which wind turbines will rest.

Each wind turbine is stacked on two cylinders fitted together to taper as they rise high above the plains.  South Dakota is a leader in wind energy now, as well as other renewables, with around 70% of its energy from renewable sources and more than 25% from wind.  The only state with more wind power than South Dakota? Iowa!

Finally, let me leave you with one more image, this one copied from Google Maps, which shows the scale of the operation from above: