“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.
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