I am from Chicago, the “Windy City”. It turns out that nickname was earned because native Chicagoians were inherently chatty, or “full of wind”, and not because it is windy weather wise. To make matters more confusing, the city does in fact have incredible gusts, especially in the winter. Why am I bringing this up? Well, it turns out that wind is a powerful resource, and it is being harvested in the windiest place in the country: The San Gorgonio Pass, which is right outside Palm Springs, California. As you drive east on the 10 interstate into the Coachella Valley, you will see hundreds of gigantic wind turbines on both sides of the highway, collecting more than 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.
All of these wind turbines sit on land owned by Windtec Energy, and Randy Buckmaster has been the local historian/tour guide on this historic plot of land. Listen as we talk about the Venturi Effect, parasitic power, and how some people think the wind turbines look like aliens.