Friday, April 23, 2010

Mars Hill Wind Farm

So a few weeks ago, we went for a Saturday drive. Went to see a friend in Houlton, and on the way home, decided to do a little exploring to see the Big Rock ski resort area in Mars Hill, ME and make our way around the mountain.

First, we saw a young moose just walking around...

He was obviously just a yearling, he only looked to be about 6 feet tall at the head. He was pretty scruffy and still shedding his winter fur. He meandered around for a few minutes while we watched him walk away...

Then we went up and got close to the ski hill area. We just stayed in the parking lot, but we had never been there, and it was nice to get our bearings and know how to get to the place we always drive by and never stop at.

Then we took it a little further and went around the mountain, to the north side of the range, to see where the road would take us. We got these fabulous views...

First, it's difficult to give you an idea of scale here. There's no real point of reference. But know that these towers are probably about 400 feet high and you can see them pretty clearly from Limestone, which is about 35-40 miles north of Mars Hill.

It was cool to see them all moving.

And it looks like they're all just in a straight line.... but keep looking...

Once you pull up to the side of the line and look due south, you can see that they are oviously NOT in a straight line.

It was pretty cool to see them.

We were pretty surprised. There is a small fence at the entrance to the service road to the wind mills. The only sign posted is a warning sign saying to be cautious of flying ice off the propeller blades.

There wasn't much for audible noise - not really any humming, but just the gentle swoosh swoosh of the blades moving the air around.

These windmills are VERY close to homes on the north end of the line of windmills. I would estimate the closest house to be almost directly across the street from one of them, and it would be less than 1000 feet from what we could tell. I don't know if this is an issue for these people or not. If it weren't for the flying ice, I would probably be happy to have one of these giant propellers in my yard. They look cool and it's mesmerizing to see them. Not sure if I would want to deal with a strobe pattern should the sun be shining through them, but other than that, we didn't have any issue being near them.

We don't live near them though.

We hope to have a small home-sized windmill sometime in the next few years to help offset some of our electrical costs if we convert to electric heat.

Anyway, it was an interesting day and an beautiful drive, even if cloudy weather...