Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekend at the Wind Farm

This past weekend we were camping about 3 hours away from home at Lake Louise State Park. To get there we passed a vast amount of turbines with their blades whirling away above us. I’d never seen so many of them grouped together before with the road winding through them all. They were everywhere you looked and as far as the eye could see.


These things are just so imposing on the landscape you almost get the feeling the ‘space aliens’ have landed.


On the other hand, you have to feel good about the use of them to create energy using wind energy and the conservation of the earth’s other resources.

We stopped by a small park dedicated to this particular wind farm to learn more. This wind farm is the Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm and consists of 182 wind turbine generators that stand at an elevation of approximately 1,300 feet. (that is Ruby our Grand Greyhound who was with us at the time, she was excited to see it too!)



Each blade of the turbine is 134.5 feet long.


Above is a photo that gives an idea of how long the blades are. Ruby and I at one end and OH with Renner and Scooter not quite out to the tip of the other end.

The turbines create energy from winds blowing any where between 9 miles per hour to 56 miles per hour. Lake Louise State Park (Minnesota) is just on the boarder of Minnesota and Iowa and the wind farm itself is based in wide open Iowa farmland (though some of the turbines were just across the boarder in Minnesota farm lands as well). The land where the turbines are planted are also used for corn and soybean farming. This wind farm is part of the grid that feeds electricity from Minnesota to Missouri. This particular wind farm with its 182 turbines can create 300 MW (Mega Watts) yielding clean power to an average of 80,000 homes.


The above photo is a view of the wind farm from a trail by Lake Louise.

To get an even better idea of the size of these turbines, can you see the man sitting up on top of one of them?


The Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm Park is located in the very small town of LeRoy, Minnesota which is also where Lake Louise State Park is found.


  1. They fascinate me - I don't see them here but where I stay on Gran Canaria they are everywhere!

    I didn't realise they were so big!!!

  2. It is hard to get a feel for their size and there are different sizes of them I am sure, depending on where you go. But it was great to have this park area where you could really get a feel for them. Even then it is just a bit unreal feeling trying to get it in your mind just how big they are. I agree with you, I find them totally facinating. Thanks Kate!

  3. We have a lot of wind turbines around here, too - not in such numbers, but in groups of twos and threes and tens and twelves. Here and there, scattered through the flat fens. I think they're beautiful. And they certainly do a great job!

  4. Hi Jay,
    Yes I agree seeing one spin in the wind is a nice feeling. Seeing over 180 of these giants is almost over whelming at first. I am glad to see them, I think it is wonderful to see resources being used that are not taking away from our planet.

  5. Holy crow! I never realised they were SO BIG!!!

    I saw a few of these on our trip down to Minneapolis... but just one or two at a time.




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