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A week ago today, we took a fast trip to Elk City, a town in western Oklahoma, and north from there to Leedey, OK. We took Interstate 40 out of Oklahoma City and passed by several large wind farms near Weatherford. As we went through Hammon, a small town north of Elk City, we saw a couple of windmill farms under construction. Coming back from Leedey, we met a convoy of trucks transporting a windmill sans the tower. Near Hammon, the bare towers were already installed. The windmills are big! Leading the convoy was a small truck carrying two big signs that read Extra Wide Load, Extra Long Load. The next truck carried two windmill blades. Truck number three carried one blade. Next truck, a shorter one, carried the hub that the three blades connect to. The last truck, a regular-sized low-boy, hauled the long module that the hub and blades connect to. The module looked about as large as a city bus. One doesn't realize just how large the windmills actually are until you see the pieces near the ground. I stopped for gas soon after watching the convoy go by and talked to a fellow who seemed to know about the 'mills. He said the blades were 120 feet long and the towers were 300 feet high.

Seeing so many wind farms in western Oklahoma, which has slightly marginal winds for that purpose, makes me wonder about the states further west and north. Probably it's a matter of transmission lines. The farms will tend to spring up along the lines.

I surfed the web. FYI, here's the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_turbine . I guess I'll have to start calling them wind turbines. Hmm. Nope, they're still windmills.

Edit: See what T. Boone Pickens says about wind power: http://www.pickensplan.com/index.php
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