Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

I gave myself a holiday present this year, and drove (with my younger sister) to have lunch with my other younger sister in Indianapolis.

That's right... she lives in Columbus and we drove out from Chicago to meet her "bout" halfway.

Lunch was nothing fancy, just a triad of siblings sitting, laughing, eating (it wouldn't be a May event, without some eating), and a little driving our waitress at Applebee's (on 421 North) a little crazy, sitting way too long, laughing way too loud and overstaying our Applebee's welcome.

Along the way, we drove through a field of Wind Turbines which were impressive enough for me to drag out the i-phone, and see what I could learn about them.

And, yes, these photos were taken on my iphone, through the windshield of my sisters VW Bug (she was driving) going 70 miles per hour (or so)... so cut me some slack.

I learned that what we were passing through on Interstate 65 was called the Fowler wind farm and was part of three wind farms in the area, amounting to almost 900 of the turbines you see in the photo, spinning happily along with a mild breeze.  They were an impressive site.

To give you some idea of their stature... the "stem" averages about 250 feet to the turbine itself and the propeller blades have a "wingspan" of 250-313 feet themselves.. (adding an impressive 125-156 feet in height to the already gigantic stems).

Fowler wind farms call themselves the largest wind farm in the U.S., perhaps the world, and have enough turbines to produce 600-800 MW of power.  Just how much power is that, you may ask, and what does that mean to the real world?

Well, I'm glad you asked... Wikipedia says that 600-800 MW (which I believe is Mega Watts) of power is enough to power 200,000 average American Households!  (I don't know if that's per day, or per year... it was very unclear...anyone who can answer that, I'll update this story).

It was almost as impressive driving back home at night, as each of these turbines has a little red blinking light atop it's turbine, and they all blink in unison... as far as they eye can see. 

Blinky, Blinky, Blinky, blinky, blinky, blinky, blinky, blinky

... well you get the idea.  Fun, huh?

Oh, and lunch was grand!

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

The lunch with your siblings was really special...staying too long and laughing too loud...sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing the windfarms...pretty good photos going 70 MPH in a VW through the windshield with an iPhone.


Dec 26, 2011 02:22 PM #5
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Funny how you associated an extended conversation with your siblings with wind. Makes you say "hmmmmmm!"

Dec 26, 2011 02:22 PM #6
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

Joni - there were so many of them, it would have been difficult NOT to have gotten a shot of one of them.

Erik - I'll bet you do.

Larry - any idea what those things cost to build??

Janis - they've been talking about building one off Evanston's shoreline into Lake Michigan.  It'll be interesting to see if it goes through...there are a lot of detractors.

Margaret - I thought so too...

Richard - it could have been worse... I could have compared the "aftermath" of the meal with wind...

Dec 26, 2011 02:23 PM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Alan- we were driving heading out to the midwest and saw one of the blade being hauled on a huge truck.  To quote my young teen-age friend... it was "awesome"

Dec 26, 2011 02:27 PM #8
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

We got a bunch of them there wind thingies up here in Whyoming. To the great dismay of the large coal mines, I would suspect.

Dec 26, 2011 02:46 PM #9
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I have seen those blades being carried out of Houston on trucks.  They are massive indeed!

Dec 26, 2011 02:49 PM #10
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

You are so lucky to be able to meet your siblings for lunch!

I didn't know we had wind farms of this size, but am glad to know about it! There had been so many protests about the proposed wind turbines off of Cape Cod because people were worried it would spoil the view. We need to find a way to generate more renewable energy like this! Great photos..glad to hear you weren't the one driving while taking the pics! :)

Dec 26, 2011 02:53 PM #11
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Alan ~ thanks for the education lesson.  Hopefully they will help with energy costs!

Dec 26, 2011 03:16 PM #12
Joe Kenny
Realty Executive Midwest - Darien, IL
Better Than Your Average Joe

I have gone past them at night and it looks really cool with the blinking lights.  It's a good life.

Dec 26, 2011 03:30 PM #13
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'd love to see more of these alternative energy solutions.  So we wouldn't need to buy oil from overseas.  By the way the watt, it's a unit of energy.  So I believe the powering of 200,000 homes is at any one time.

Dec 26, 2011 10:03 PM #14
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Alan: The photos are wonderful - smartphone and 70 miles per hour! Harnessing the wind seems like a good first step to reducing enrgy independence on foreign oil. 

Dec 26, 2011 10:06 PM #15
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Alan,

Nothing like getting together with siblings.  I'm actually meeting up with 2 of mine today.  The added plus in your case, great and interesting road candy to engage the brain.  Nice fact finding mission and thanks for sharing.

Dec 26, 2011 10:26 PM #16
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Alan - Each turbine costs two to three million dollars each.  That is a lot of money sitting in that field.

Dec 26, 2011 10:34 PM #17
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

Kathy - awesome.  I hadn't even considered the logistics of getting them there.

Tim - I would imagine so, as well.    y'all!

Paula - they were stamped GE... is GE located in Houston?

Nina - not sure it would spoil the view... but it sure would change it.  Imagine how much power could be generated during the next nor'easter?

Dawn - I think the idea is to have cleaner (not necessarily cheaper) energy.

Joe - the blinky lights were fun.

Gabe - so we're talking about a day's worth...  200,000 homes per day?

Anne - it certainly sounds like a logical step.

Cindy - engage the what?

Conrad - wow... I figured they were expensive... but three million (plus delivery and wiring?) x 800-900!!!!  Wow!  That's going to take an awful lot of electricity to pay for itself, isn't it?

Dec 27, 2011 12:43 AM #18
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate
Alan- Vestas Blades North America set up shop right here in our neck of the woods (Northern Colorado) and makes those big blades. They make the nacelles (the electrical generating part) down in Pueblo. They have been shipping these blades out on special railroad cars. Some of them are longer than 2 box cars end-to-end! Great job creation, great renewable resource and as tech continues to improve it will make the coal mine bosses nervouser and nervouser! Check out Vestas web site: http://www.vestas.com/. A typical home uses about 18,000 kilowatts per year. So my guess is the megawatt number that is produced by that farm is an annual number. Way cheaper to build wind farms than coal-fired plants, for sure! Just think of the electricity the Windy City could create! Chris
Dec 27, 2011 05:49 AM #19
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

Chris - well, as an annual number that's even cooler!

Dec 27, 2011 07:25 AM #20
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Nice pictures Alan.  We have a huge wind farm here in our area too.   It is atop the Coast Range between the bay area and the Central Valley.  I am going to have to try the 70 mph iPhone picture next time I go through there.

Dec 27, 2011 01:39 PM #21
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

Jim - I'll be looking forward to those pics.

Dec 27, 2011 02:14 PM #22
Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate


We don't have that much in the way of Wind Turbines here but we do have more Solar.  They are building more Solar farms nearby also.  I will have to get you some pictures of that.

Dec 27, 2011 03:11 PM #23
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

Larry - Solar farms should be a touch quieter... no?

Dec 28, 2011 12:48 AM #24
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Alan May

There's no place like home.
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