Time to leave the leading lines on I-84. Our adventure will take us down Route 206 through an area of Eastern Oregon that we have not yet explored. Before we turn, a clue for what is to come escapes our attention.
Wavy amber lines lead the eye as far as it can see through newly harvested wheat fields. At one time, this was the staple economy for this region of the state.
Times are changing. Leading lines etched by farmers’ combine machinery are disrupted. Fields are disturbed by new blacktop lanes as they carve through grain fields. Networks of service roads lead the way to a new economy… wind generated energy.
These lane lines lead to the largest town in Sherman County- Wasco, Oregon. An example of a place that has economically benefited as a result of wind power development.
Sherman County, Oregon, has seen huge increases in revenues from local wind farms. Before
the wind energy industry came to town, this rural community had few employment opportunities and a small tax base. Since installing a swath of power-producing wind turbines, the county has reaped impressive benefits, including increases in per capita income and the local tax base.
Cut from American Wind Farms; page 26
These leading lines plow straight into the reason for the county’s brighter economic future. A crop of 242 wind turbines, each rising more than 380 feet above the tallest shafts of wheat, catch abundant winds to generate about 400 megawatts of renewable energy on the Klondike project.
The American Wind Energy Association estimates that each megawatt of wind power provides enough energy to light up 300 average American homes each year.
These leading lines are powerful for their value in creating interesting photo opportunities and clean energy.
Wind fuels the 321-megawatt Klondike Wind Farm located four miles southeast of Wasco, as well as the 450-megawatt Biglow Canyon Wind Farm just to the north. The first three phases of the Klondike project, owned by Iberdrola Renewables, use 44 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and 146 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines. These wind farms supply clean, renewable electricity to Portland General Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Eugene Water & Electric Board, and other power companies region wide.
(Cut from: Wind Power- Sherman County )
Submitted for the Lens-Artist photo challenge #80 |Leading Lines
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