Visitors 6
Modified 18-Mar-16
Created 18-Mar-16
43 photos

“There are no windmills, only wind turbines in Palm springs,” Tom explains. And there are about 2,700 of them in San Gorgonio Wind Park — the oldest wind farm in the United States. A wind turbine is a device that converts wind energy into mechanical energy, which is then used to produce electricity. As heat rises from the desert floor, it creates a low-pressure area filled by the cool air blowing in from the Pacific Ocean, 90 miles west, explains Tom, who has 30-plus years experience working in energy farms. “As the wind rushes toward the desert, it is forced between the mountains (Mount San Gorgonio at 11,503 feet and Mount San Jacinto at 10,833 feet), creating a Venturi effect. Wind speeds in the pass have reached 80 mph — only 5 mph faster than a Category 1 hurricane. The area harvests enough wind energy to power about 300,000 homes. "That’s three times the amount of power we need to run Palm Springs,” Tom (www.thebestofthebesttours.com) says.
I-10 entering the Wind Farm headed west.My first photos are from Indian Canyon Dr. south of I-10 at the Amtrak Station Exit.  You can walk directly to the base of some current generation windmills.Mount San Jacinto at 10,833 feet behind this fieldOlder generation windmills, lower, faster turning.A new windmil, 3-exposuresSand on the east side of vegetation showing constant wind from the ocean through the passA freight passed.  I took a few photos to show relative size.A vintage airplane passed from Palm Springs AirportThe oldest model of wind turbine, built in the 1980s, stand 65 feet high and have 15-foot blades that rotate between 600 and 700 times per minute.I noticed this blade end on a stopped turbine.300 ft. tall w/100 ft. blades.I headed for the station and luckily a freight of auto haulers passed.Looking westward, San Gorgonio in the distance and windmills near the tracks.Unmanned Palm Springs StationAuto hauler pusher, wind turbines, San Gorgonio Mtn.