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Wind Power

May 2, 2006
Alternative energy sources are getting a fresh look as demand for fossil fuels increases worldwide and technical innovations help reduce the costs of alternatives. A decade ago, California was producing 30% of the world's wind-generated electricity. Here's a look at utility-scale wind farms: California wind resources About 95% of the state's electricity from wind comes from more than 13,000 turbines concentrated in the Altamont Pass, Tehachapi Mountains and San Gorgonio Pass areas.
From a distance, they look like tall, gawky, stilt-legged fans trying to cool the parched hills. Their arms move languidly in the light wind, but they are still an impressive sight. The 7,300 wind-turbine towers in the Altamont Pass outside Livermore, about 30 miles south of San Francisco, constitute the largest wind-fueled power plant in the world. About 8,700 other high-tech windmills capture breezes in California.
Wheat farmer John Hilderbrand once cursed the wind that roars down the Columbia River Gorge and through this rural, hilly community, damaging crops and kicking up dust. That was before the same powerful gusts paid for his vacations to Panama and Costa Rica, and allowed him to quit his part-time job as a real estate agent. In the past year, dozens of wind turbines have appeared on the drab, rolling expanses of rural farmland in Oregon and Washington.
February 5, 2012 | By Roger Vincent
Century City skyscraper Constellation Place, formerly known as MGM Tower, is the first Los Angeles high-rise to be served by electricity-generating fuel cells. Landlord JMB Realty installed two Bloom Energy Servers that will produce 400 kilowatts of power, about one-third of the electricity needed by the 35-story tower. Bloom servers, made by Bloom Energy of Sunnyvale, Calif., are each big enough to occupy an average parking space and contain thousands of Bloom fuel cells - flat, solid ceramic squares made from a sand-like powder - that convert air and fuel into electricity through an electrochemical process.
July 13, 2013 | By David Helvarg
The first U.S. offshore wind turbine hooked into the U.S. power grid in June, but not in the "green" state of California. It happened on the opposite side of the continent, off the coast of Maine, using a floating wind-generator prototype well suited for the deep ocean water typically found off the coast of California. Less than a month later, Britain inaugurated an offshore wind farm capable of powering half a million homes. Additional "blue" energy sources, including wave- and tidal-power generators and "ocean thermal energy conversion," or OTEC, are being developed in Maine, Oregon, Scotland and China, but not in any significant way in California.
September 26, 2004
Congratulations on the largely excellent job your writers did in the Aug. 29 issue, especially Dan Neil for his take on Honda's hydrogen car ("A Week Without Dinosaurs"). He emphasized that hydrogen is like a battery that stores energy, not a magic supply of energy. And until the supply problem is solved with renewable fuels, it's just another drain on the same old dead-dino pool. Solar panels are one approach, but he alluded to another: wind energy. While much less area-efficient than a nuclear plant, wind power is less costly.
February 18, 2001 | JAMES FLANIGAN
Selim Zilkha is investing in wind power as the next energy growth area. And, because Zilkha has made shrewd choices before, wind bears watching. The 73-year-old Zilkha, who now lives in Los Angeles, has formed Zilkha Renewable Energy with his son Michael, who heads the Houston-based company. The firm is investing in wind-generating projects in California, Costa Rica and offshore Britain. Adoption of wind power is growing in the U.S. and abroad.
January 20, 2012 | By Ronald D. White
The Department of Energy's Wind Powering America program has released new maps of wind energy potential in the U.S. The maps, the first new ones in 19 years, are meant to serve as a resource for policymakers, state and local governments and anyone looking to invest in wind power sites or anyone trying to determine the best potential locations. The maps are based on data gathered in 2010 and show average annual wind speeds at a height of 80 meters above the ground. Some of the information is fairly well know, such as the fact that the best states for wind energy are found along the north central tier of the country, the Great Plains, and in states farther south, such as Oklahoma and Texas.
October 15, 2005 | Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff Writer
Tom DeMoulin was not expecting a bargain when he began buying his electricity from wind farms in the late 1990s. In fact, the community college instructor paid an extra $5 a month to his local utility to strike a blow against the coal- and gas-fired power plants that spew pollution across the Southwest. But starting next month, DeMoulin's conscience-driven decision will save him money.
December 8, 2003 | Rone Tempest, Times Staff Writer
When the giant Altamont wind farm sprouted here two decades ago, the only major objections were aesthetic. Local residents didn't appreciate the forest of 7,000 ungainly wind towers cluttering their view. No one, apparently, thought about the birds.
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