Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Whisper became Reality


Last week Hugh suggested we had a day out for photographing some more of New Zealand landscapes.  We travelled towards the West, and visited Dawson Falls in Egmont National Park. Today the whisper was spoken in louder tones, the food packed,,fruit,milk and coffee  ( necessity for any day out) and gas stove in the wagon and off to the East, to the Tararua Wind Farm. This is set on  700 hectares of sheep and beef farming land, on the southern side of the Manawatu Gorge. A metal (gravel) road leads off the main highway, winding up through farmland, bush and scrub. At the top there are wide views to either side of the ridge. These turbines, 134 in total, produce an average annual output of 620,000 megawatts of power.

 three turbines

Turbines in the distance

We stopped for lunch at this corner, and as I looked back, I could see that some of the turbine blades had stopped, and the box at the top, the nacelle, had been turned so the blades faced the wind direction. They started again before I finished  my plunger coffee!!

The blades turn with a whooshing sound, and from a distance seem to be like the arms of graceful ballerinas.

This video might need double clicking to begin. We had a great day out in the hills,  not much traffic up there , some cyclists coming down a steepish part of the  gravel road,, sheep and lambs in the paddocks, and turbines turning. I have a greater respect for power, when I turn on the lights, the stove, and my Laptop.  Thanks to  Tararua Wind Farm.

Quotation of the day, from Jimmy Dean

  I can’t change the direction of the wind,

but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”

Greetings from Jean


FlowerLady said...

The day sounds lovely, the view was wonderful except for those turbines. For me they ruin the landscape. How many homes/businesses do those 134 turbines create power for?

Thanks for sharing your road trips with us.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

Nancy J said...

Lorraine, these turbines are more than 10 km, in a direct line, about 7 miles, and a 40 minute drive, with at least half on a winding gravel road, from the nearest city. They are on land that would not be used for housing, and are on the ridgeline and just below the top, where they get the best wind. The 134 turbines, and the other 90 at Te Apiti wind farm on the northern side of the gorge, from what I can find, generate power for about 135,000 homes. Where we were yesterday is an area a long way from any homes, they look very small when you are able to see them from any main road,and up there, there is only one farm house that I saw.
Some people here think they are a blot on the horizon, but for me, I like the turning blades, the whooshing sound, you do not hear this until very close by,and maybe the most important fact, they are safe.Cheers from Jean.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Hello Jean and thank you for your recent visit. Just finished catching up on some of your past blogs. So glad you got your computer fixed and all seems to be working again. Enjoyed seeing some of Hugh's photo to help you with photos you didn't have access to. I always love your quotes at the end. Good thing you had another to computer to depend on. I don't, but am planning on buying another this winter. I would be lost without it. I am not so good about back-ups. I do have another drive attached to my laptop that backs up but then they say that should be back-up at well. Where does it end. If I had unlimited high speed I would have a back-up online and store everything there. Oh well I better end my day here at the computer and get busy finishing our dinner. Have a wonderful week. Hugs Carrie

Susan Heather said...

Lovely photos - it is a pity the blades are not synchronised - to my way of thinking it would look so much better. Still, if they are, as in this case, away from houses it is a great way to create power.

Judith said...

I don't think the turbines are a blot on the landscape, I think they look magnificent. And they are a clean and safe producer of power. We need power, it's got to come from somewhere. Think how lost we'd be without electricity! Thanks for your comment on my blog, Jean.

Lori Skoog said...

We are so for wind turbines. I wish we could afford to have them on the farm or near us. I feel about them the way you do. Others around this area fight having them.

Jim said...

What a beautiful landscape amidst the turbines! Here in Nova Scotia this is a relatively new industry and there is a very vocal group of people who do not want these near them or 'in their backyard'. They claim all these health risks. Any complaints down your way Jean?
Personally I feel this is the way to go. Great photos by the way.

Nancy J said...

Jim, some, in fact most residents live so far away, that the noise would not be a problem, but they do complain, and also some protested, further down nearer to Wellington. This was about the " West Wind Farm" at Makara, and has a wonderful view, this also is on the Web. How could there be a health risk from a wind turbine??I feel the protestors have too much time on their hands,and do not do the real reasearch into this method.If I had land that could/would be used for this, I would, And do people realise that the land owners get paid a yearly, or a one off payment, or a variable amount based on power generation, this can vary from $1500 to $6000 per year per megawatt installed.So for any land owner with land not suitable for cropping or dairying, or residential, this can mean a huge difference in the income. Thanks for the photo comment, I struggled with the wide angle lens to be far enough away to get all the blades in.NIMBY's need to get real in the modern world and think very hard about safety to everyone .Greetings from Jean

Gayle said...

We are just getting some wind turbines going here.. wish there were a lot more.

I'm being selfish, but I've missed you visiting my blog. I see that I'm not on your blogroll so maybe you've moved on (and just about everyone else... I don't get comments anymore). Anyhow, just wanted you to know I've thought of you often.

Beautiful landscape photos as always. :)

Nancy J said...

Hi Gayle, this last week has not been the best, today is
Sunday 14th, I will do a post and update you all later tonight.i have read, looked, and not put in any comments,but you are still on my members list.I had travel 4 days out of 5,sleepless nights, worrying days and more.Hugh is now home, and OK.Keep warm, greetings from Jean