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Checking out a coal mine turned wind power plant

Glenrock Wind Plant

We drove out to check out the Glenrock Wind Farm, built on the site of a reclaimed coal mine. Unlike the Casper Wind Farm, which is said to be built on an old refinery site but actually in on refinery land because the refinery was in town and you can’t put earth-friendly turbines in town, the Glenrock turbines actually are on the coal mine land. The old coal mine sign is still there. We did not see a sign identifying the wind  plant per se.

One of the turbines had a damaged propeller. It sort of looked like the wind had shredded it. It sound funny, but turbines can’t take extremely high winds. Also, about one-third of the turbines were not turning in spite of a fairly strong wind that day.

While many people seem to find the turbines to represent some kind of eco-shrine covering the old coal mine, one cannot help but wonder why millions were spent on reclamation to original state only to rip much of it out and install 400 foot tall spinning monstrosities. Perhaps reclamation should wait until its usefulness can be accessed. It would save a lot of time and money.

Perhaps the most interesting thing we observed at this ecoshrine is there is what appeared to be a lignite mine (a very small one), a pump-jack on or right next to the turbine site, and a gas plant across the road. It would seem there are those who lack faith in the billion dollar experiment in variable energy.

Lignite mine is what it appears to be

gas plant

Turbines around the mine site:

The building you see is one of the buildings from the Glenrock Coal Mine.  Behind it is what looked like broken propellers.

What a coal mine looks like:

This is a dragline, used in mining and two views of a coal mine near Sheridan, Wy.  If you skip the fact that the turbines are white (denoting purity) and the coal is not, land damage is evident in both.  The mine is partially fenced with an open-pit whereas the turbines may be fenced and extend 400 feet in the air.  There are many, many turbines while usually only one area of a mine is dug at a time.  Wildlife thrives around coal mines.  I have seen a few antelope near turbines, but that’s all.  The turbines are newer so the animals may not have come back yet.  Oilfields also have an abundance of wildlife, contrary to the impression often given by “green” movements.



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Wandering Words


“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.

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