During a recent trip across Texas, I came to a place that was covered in wind turbines. For miles the only scenery was the turbines. I considered them, thought about them and watched them while pondered…how many in a row, how close to the road, how many were spinning and could I find just one standing still.. And yes, even stopped the truck to take a couple of pictures.
These majestic structures tower over everything. The terrain here is very flat and has very little greenery. Known as the Permian Basin this entire area was once a great water source, a lake, but is now recognized for the vast flatness.
It is winter, there is limited vegetation. Some of the cacti and trees that can be seen are damaged from extreme cold temperatures and are blackened from frost. Yet the stark white blooms left behind on cotton plants dot across the field as a reminder of the many purposes and re-purposed of just one field.
I was very surprised to hear of the typical strength of the wind experienced in this part of the state. Today however was far from average. Wind speeds of 50mph with gusts up to 80mph. The truck was being pushed from side to side.. It definitely was a day that two hands were needed on the steering wheel at all times.
It was very obvious why so many turbines would have been placed in this part of the country. The flat terrain, the constant (or nearly constant) winds contributed to the success of the wind farms in the area. Wind power is fast becoming the energy source of choice here and is home to four of the top ten wind farms in the country.
More information about the turbines of Sweetwater TX can be found:
Wind turbines, dried grass, and the spots of white are what remains of cotton plants harvested before winter.
It has been a very long time since I have seen a horizon as flat and clear.