Giant Wind Turbine Farms near Livermore and
Rio Vista in California
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讀萬卷書    行萬里路

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一排排巨大的風力發電機高高挺立,潔白的機身,線條優雅的葉片,映襯著藍天白雲,勾
勒出一幅壯麗的風電場景觀。


1. Giant Wind Turbine Farm Near Livermore

On December 30, 2017, we were driving on Interstate Highway 580 between Livermore and Tracy in California
and saw these giant wind turbines atop the golden hillsides of Altamont Pass just east of Livermore.

These giant wind turbines are 450 feet tall and each turbine blade is 161 feet long. They are taller than the
famous giant redwood trees or giant sequoia in California.

On Friday, Feb. 7, 2015, Google signed an agreement to buy power from this modernized giant wind turbine
farm that will help provide electricity to the Googleplex office complex and the company's data centers in
Mountain View, California.
龐大的風機。

The relatively small size of cattle on the cattle ranch in this picture show the giant size of these wind turbines.
風車真的很大...顯得車子很小。

The relatively small sizes of cars and trucks on Interstate Highway 580 in this picture and the following
picture also show the giant size of these wind turbines.

These giant wind turbines are modern version and were installed starting in 2006 and 2007 time frame. Each
of these giant wind turbines can generate about 2.3 mega watts of electric power. These modern giant wind
turbines are more efficient and are installed to replace the older and smaller wind turbines which were
installed in early 1980s. The older and smaller wind turbines can generate only about 100 KW of electric
power per unit.

Before the major upgrade starting in 2006, there were nearly 6,000 smaller wind turbines in operation on
Altamont Pass.  

In the old days, many Californians have marveled at the vast array of thousands of wind turbines spinning
atop the golden hillsides along Highway 580 between Livermore and Tracy.

For every new and giant turbine installed, 23 of the older obsolete ones are removed. As a result, the total  
number of wind turbines on Altamont Pass is much smaller now with much greater distance between the new
giant wind turbines.
Zoom in by using my compact super-zoom camera, we also saw dense arrays of some older and smaller wind
turbines still operating at greater distance away from Interstate Highway 580. These may be replaced by the
modern and more efficient giant wind turbines in the future.
Aerial view in 2015 of the arrays of older and smaller wind turbine farm on Altamont Pass can be seen in the
following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJBnc6ET-hk


2. Giant Wind Turbine Farm on Montezuma Hills near Rio Vista

Another large 750 wind turbine farm in California includes three renewable energy projects as the large Shiloh
Wind Power Plant, Next Era Energy Resources High Winds Energy Center and one owned by the Sacramento
Municipal Utility District. They are on the sparsely populated, windswept  Montezuma Hills of Solano County. It
is about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. The Montezuma Hills area is bounded by the Sacramento River
on the south and east; the Montezuma Slough on the west and roughly by California State Route 12 on the
north. The nearby cities and villages are Rio Vista, Suisun City, Montezuma, Collinsville and Birds Landing. This
wind turbine farm on Montezuma Hills is near the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta area where the mighty
Sacramento River and San Joaquin River converge and flow into the northeast parts of San Francisco Bay
through Suisun Bay and San Pablo Bay.

On January 23, 2018, we came to see and to photograph this second giant wind turbine farm near Rio Vista.
We drove north from East Bay of San Francisco Bay along Highway 680 to Concord, then turned east on
Highway 4 through Pittsburg and Antioch areas where we could see the south side of the giant wind turbine
farm about 6 miles away. Then we turned north along Highway 160 going over the bridge crossing San Joaquin
River and driving along east side of Sacramento River and we could see the southeast side of the giant wind
turbine farm, then we turned east into Highway 12, going over the bridge crossing Sacramento River into Rio
Vista, then we drove east on Highway 12 toward Fairfield and we could see the north side of the giant wind
turbine farm.

On our return trip, from Fairfield City, we drive south on Interstate Highway 80, then went south on Highway
680 going over the bridge crossing Siusun Bay where we could see the giant wind turbine farm about 20 miles
away.

In such driving tour around this giant wind turbine farm, my friend was driving the car, I sat on the front
passenger seat and took all the pictures while our car was moving at normal highway speed.
Aerial view in 2016 from a drone of the giant wind turbine farm on Altamont Pass can be seen in the following
YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiP5CgpAF6Y
My previous tours of the large Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm (south east of Bakersfield) and of the large San
Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm (near Palm Springs) in southern California are described on my web pages at:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Solar_Power_and_Wind_Turbines.html
遠遠望去風電場開闊壯觀,一排排整齊排列的風車, 可再生清潔能源。

South edge of the giant wind turbine farm on Montezuma Hills as viewed from Highway 4.
Southeast edge of the giant wind turbine farm on Montezuma Hills as viewed from Highway 160. The small
sizes of white buildings in the foreground show the giant size of these wind turbines.  From the base to the top
of an upturned blade is about the height of a 40-story building.
蔚為壯觀的風車陣。

Another view of the south edge of the giant wind turbine farm from Highway 4.

Researchers studied wind flows around California and found that the winds coming from the west through San
Pablo Bay are constricted by the Carquinez Strait such that the winds heading east into the Montezuma Hills
between Rio Vista and Birds Landing were exceptional in terms of speed and duration. Also, the tops of the
Montezuma Hills themselves stand between 160 and 280 feet above sea level, providing an elevation boost for
more wind. The area was also attractive because it was sparsely populated and was used for non-intensive
agriculture including sheep grazing and non-irrigated grain growing.   
遠看的話很漂亮,近看很壯觀。

North edge of the giant wind turbine farm as viewed from Highway 12.
North edge of the giant wind turbine farm as viewed from Highway 12.
Southeast edge of the giant wind turbine farm with reflection on Sacramento River as viewed from Highway
160.
North edge of the giant wind turbine farm as viewed from Highway 12.
Highway 160 along Sacramento River. The far side is Rio Vista.
Sacramento River as viewed from Highway 160.
Southwest edge of the giant wind turbine farm as viewed about 20 miles away on Highway 680 on the bridge
crossing Siusun Bay.

Aerial views of this wind turbine farm on Montezuma Hills can be seen
here, here and here.
看見遠處的山頂上,一座座風車在緩緩轉動。