Giants in the wind

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Aug 16 2014

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Category: Europe, Netherlands

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In the last decade the number of electricity generating windmills in Holland has increased considerably. In some regions even to the extent that one can speak of an uncontrolled proliferation, with action groups as a result that protest against the pollution of the horizon. See for example the situation in a part of Flevoland, Holland’s youngest polder province.

In reaction to this problem and to the ever increasing demand for clean, green energy, plans have been made to develop large, concentrated windmill parks of which we see an example under construction to the left in the photo above. It’s the beginning of a row of wind turbines of impressive dimensions. The mill bodies have a height of 135 m. and are built with the help of cranes that need to be even higher! When the wings have reached their final length of 63.5 m., the windmills will stick out nearly 200 m. into the sky.

This park will accommodate a row of 38 mills on land and another 48 slightly smaller ones in the IJsselmeer, at the other side of the dyke. Together they’ll be good for 1.4 billion kWh per year, enough for 400.000 households, or roughly for a city the size of Amsterdam. Fifty five smaller windmills like the ones on the right will then be removed from the vicinity of the park.

The striking thing about it all is that, seen from a distance, one doesn’t have the impression of looking at a row of poles 135 m. in height. For want of nearby reference points, they don’t seem to be that high at all; they’re quite easily accepted as just a new element in the vast expanse of the Dutch polder landscape.

Photo of the week: IJsselmeerdijk near Urk, Noordoostpolder, Netherlands 2014

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