Tag Archives: Ocotillo Wind Farm

Revisiting Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

The Ocotillo wind farm went online almost five years ago. Were they not documented in such meticulous detail, some of the  reports coming from the tiny desert community this project surrounds would be difficult to believe.  I once received a constant stream of YouTube videos and reports. It was one of the sites that shaped my perception of the energy sector.  To some extent, I’ve moved on from this story, but I always knew I would be revisiting Ocotillo.
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Red-Tailed Hawk At The Ocotillo Wind Farm

By Roy L Hales

Jim Pelley sent in some photos of a red-tailed hawk at the Ocotillo Wind farm in California. This is not the first raptor sighted in the wind farm, which straddles a migration flyway used by golden eagles.

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The Next Big Issue Is Social License

By Roy L Hales

The transition to renewable energy is coming faster than most people realize. The technological advances that make it the adoption of larger amounts of intermittent energy possible are also needed to reinvigorate North America’s aging grid. Though there is still much resistance from corporations and governments with vested interests, the future of the fossil fuel sector lies in finding ways to fit into a more environmentally sensitive economy. The struggle to avoid Climate Change is not over. There are still many battles ahead, but the outcome has been decided. The next big issue is social license.

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Wind turbine Fire at Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

On January 15, there was a wind turbine fire at Ocotillo, CA.  The incident might have been less significant anywhere else, but this wind project has been having problems ever since it went online.

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Germany’s Wind industry is not like Southern California’s

By Roy L Hales

The sheer number of wind turbines in Germany is overwhelming! When the clouds open, they are often visible from the windows of a jet entering the country. Though they are primarily a rural phenomenon, there are about 60 turbines in the city of Hamburg. Some of the behemoths in Mecklenbourg-Verpommern have a capacity of 7.5 MW,  more than twice the 3 MW found in North America. Yet, speaking as one of a group of journalists touring renewable installations recently, unless you are standing directly underneath a turbine was difficult to pick out the “whoosh” of their whirling blades from other ambient sounds. Germany’s wind industry is an integral part of the nation’s energy revolution, which at least 56% of the respondents to a poll taken in 2013 said was “the right thing to do.” Only 10% were actually opposed. Germany’s Wind industry is not like Southern California’s.

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