Marvins Window Wind Power

The wind was blowing in Kingman when I looked out my window this weekend.

There was nothing unusual or noteworthy about that.

The wind blows here all the time.

This is the third place I have lived where local folks said it was the windiest place in the world!

In Southwest Minnesota I was told the wind blew 14 miles per hour every hour and every day of the year but two.

Locals told me the wind stopped once in the spring and once in the fall to change directions.

I became a believer during the winter months when the 12 inches of snowfall buried my car for the third time.

The wind blew across the golf course picking up snow.

It blew down my street to a slight curve just past the house.

That was enough to drop a large portion of the snow in the driveway on my car.

Each winter I would have a man with a tractor come and dig out the car and build a snow pile on the corner of my yard to direct the wind and snow past my driveway.

Before living in Minnesota, I lived in Eastern Oregon along the Columbia River and locals told me that was the windiest place in the world.

The Columbia Gorge is a spectacular geographic attraction that splits the Cascade Mountain range at Mt.

Hood in Oregon and the continuing Cascade Range in Washington.

The Columbia River makes it way from the high plains between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean through the gorge.

Some of the best wind surfing in the world is on the Columbia River in the gorge at Hood River at the foot of Mt.

Hood.

Winds can whistle through the gorge with a little snow and disrupt or halt traffic.

It is no surprise that farmers in Sherman County at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge are renting some of their land to companies who are installing wind powered generators to increase the supply of electricity in the Pacific Northwest.

Two Columbia River dams generated electricity from hydroelectric power on the Columbia River along the same stretch of the river and the cliffs.

I sat on those cliffs more years ago than I will admit and watched the river fill the reservoir behind the John Day Dam, the last major construction on the Columbia River.

Men who had just completed the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona did much of the construction

Imagine my surprise when I found a wire story in the Sunday Miner with a Wasco, Oregon dateline that described the wind generators and quoted some farmers in the area.

One of them, Terry Kaseberg, was a student of mine many years ago.

My youngest sister lives in Wasco.

Bonneville Dam is located near the west end of the Columbia River Gorge between the small town of Cascade Locks and the famous Multnomah Falls.

It was the first dam on the Columbia River and named for Captain Bonneville who first sailed a ship into the river.

The Bonneville Power Administration that handles most of the power in the Pacific Northwest is named after that first dam.

Any power generated from wind would need to tie into their grid system.

Kingman and Mohave County have enough wind to interest several companies.

They are looking at the Kingman, Dolan Springs and Wickieup areas for persistent winds that could generate electricity for commercial use in the area power grid.

That would take us back to the days when wind drove the windmills that pumped water in this area and a lot of other rural areas of the country.

Some of you have seen the wind powered electric generators near Palm Springs.

I am told they do produce commercially profitable electricity.

No one would be happier than I if a major portion of the electricity in this country could be produced by wind.

I am looking forward to the day when Arab oil is not needed by the rest of the world.

Imagine how quickly the current tensions would cease if oil were replaced by other energy sources!

In the meantime, I am happy my friends and relatives in Sherman County can supplement farm income with wind power.

I would like to see the Kingman wind harnessed and producing electric power and adding to the local economy.

Until that happens, I will keep my house plugged into the local power grid and pay my electric bill regularly.

I lived without electricity until I went away from the farm to college.

I have come to enjoy all the things it brings me.

I am willing to put up with the current environmental issues rather than go back to reading by kerosene lamps.