Here is a photo taken near the town of Big Spring in West Texas. It is of an old oilfield pumpjack still pumping oil and a new wind turbine in the background. The photo of the wind turbine and pumpjack was taken in the Panther creek wind farm project in West Texas.
I like this photo because it shows the old and new side by side. Wind energy may never replace all of the energy that oil and gas is able to provide but we cannot afford to ignore the technology. It is a safe, clean, domestic way to produce energy. When wind turbines are placed outside of bird migration routes they pose little danger to birds. Several studies have been done on West Texas wind farms and no indication of significant danger to birds was found. These large white giants sit there day after day, generating clean wind energy with little maintenance.
The wind turbine in the background is made by Vestas, as Swedish corporation. In West Texas there are several wind farms using these type of turbines as well as GE wind turbines, Mitsubishi Wind turbines, Siemens and Duke Energy.
The small tank in to the rear of the pumjack holds ethylene glycol which is pumped slowly into the lines to prevent freezing during cold winters.
The large horse’s head is connected to over a mile of pump rod that reaches to a pump at the bottom of the oil well. large counterweights balance the weight of all that metal rod in the well so that a small electric motor can turn the pumpjack and pump oil.
The irony of this is that wind energy from the nearby turbine may be part of the energy that is feeding the electric motor and pumping oil.
For more photos of wind energy projects, solar projects and oil and gas industry equipment see Energy Industry Photos, Alternative Energy Photos.
Some old timers in West Texas see these massive turbines, which now dominate much of the landscape of the west, as ugly. While I don’t want to see the entire West covered with them I do see them as something beautiful, but that’s just me. I’m part Dutch, perhaps that’s why.