Bones and Blades


I was driving in to my teaching job last week when I came upon a dinosaur bone. Well not a real dinosaur bone, but to me it was as startling as unexpectedly having the ribcage of a brontosaurus appear on the road in front of you. It was a single blade of an industrial wind turbine making it’s way through the morning traffic in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was the scale of the thing that was almost frightening. I had never been that close to a wind turbine blade before, although I had a vague knowledge that there are multitudes of wind farms in West Texas. It was huge and an eerie bone-white. Sleek and almost unearthly in that pedestrian setting, being accompanied by trucks before and after with flashing lights as if to say, pay attention, this thing may get away from us.

windrader-474574_1920So how big was it? According to the NationalWindWatch  the blades of a G.E. 1.5 megawatt model are 116 feet long and have the vertical wind sweep of just under an acre. An acre.  My Brontosaurus comes in a sad second place with an estimated length of only 75 feet total from nose to tail.

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