California is Big on Wind Power

Wind Power at the California Delta
Wind farm at California Highway 160 and California Highway 12

For a long time, the Delta was jokingly referred to as “the windiest place on Earth”, but there was little to show for it. The wind would blow in from the West and right up the Delta because of the mountains and hills surrounding the Bay Area. It was the same wind that blew through the Altamont Pass up I-580, but while the Pass would gain the initial wind mills, the Delta was left pretty much in tact.

I had some family business to attend to in California back in April (My God, it is almost August!) so I packed up and went to the Golden State. While I was there, I got out one day and toured around the San Joaquin River and the Delta just north of Clyde and creeping north to Davis.

Wind power in the California Delta.

The drive for renewable energy has been a boon for solar and wind power in California. While a million (and now more) homes were being built with solar power in their roofs, large areas of California have been taken over for wind power. The Delta has been hit by the search for renewable and the has become populated by hundreds of wind mills. It is impressive. It is a big industry now and continues to grow.

Now the Delta is nothing for most of the people who live in the Bay Area, driving I-80 to Sacramento, but for my family, the Delta is the center of life. Just a short ride in a boat and you are there. Just a short drive off of the Interstate and you are in it. Largely consisting of flat islands and marshy consistency, some that sit below the water level of the San Joaquin River itself. These are protected by dikes. (Yes, a the large number of wine grapes and hops are also produced here!)

So, as I drove home, and turned away from the ongoing renewable energy boon of wind power, I had a thought that “the windiest place on Earth” had become gone from myth to truth.