The Long Beach Windmill (Friday Photography)

In the first installment of what I hope will be a weekly (or close to) occurrence, I’m going to be throwing up a photo set a week on some sort of topical, timely, or interesting theme.

Today’s installment is titled, The Long Beach Windmill.  Full disclosure, I took these photos last Friday.  I think if I took them today the windmill would probably be taking off considering how bad the wind is today.

Also, there was a lot of discussion two weeks ago wondering why the turbine wasn’t spinning.  I spoke with an electrical engineering expert familiar with wind power and he had a very easy answer for me.  “It was too cold.”  I was a bit surprised by the answer, but he explained that the extremely expensive lubricants that are required to keep the turbine spinning cannot operate in arctic conditions (unless special equipment is used).  Without a doubt, the days in question when the turbine weren’t spinning were bitterly cold (around 20 degrees at times).  I did some googling and found this to be a severe downside to some windfarms, especially when they are built not expecting cooler-than-projected weather, as was the case with much of Britain’s wind power farms.

Note: I’m aware the technical title of  this should be a “wind turbine” or “wind power generator,” but I think windmill is a bit more poetic and I’m going with it in the case of this photo spread.

 The temporary path up to the windmill… the beginning of something bigger?

 You come for the windmill, but you’re blown away by the massive solar panel array

 From the pier, a great view of the loop and the windmill

 The very active fishing pier next door, loaded with boats of all sizes

 Half of the solar array soaking up the sun

 Seeing its blades rotating from below tested my faith in modern engineering

 The machine that helped rebuild much of the pier the windmill is sitting on

 NOM OM OM OM OM

The fishing pier unaffected by the “green” energy rush

 The Northern Power Turbine

 Spinning into the sun

 From every angle, the move towards solar and wind was on exhibit

 The windmill whipping around, generating some of its 100kw potential

 Across the way, a man waits for a bite, unimpressed by the turbine behind him

After spending an hour or two down by the windmill I was really impressed by how well it fit into the skyline.  While walking around, I realized the turbine itself emits a low humming sound that blanketed much of the immediate area around it. What really surprised me was how much else was built on the site: Two full rows of solar power panels, a new fueling station (under construction), and what I assume will be some sort of classroom/demonstration building (also under construction), and you can’t forget the huge fishing pier and dock that has been there for decades.  On a nice Saturday or Sunday, I highly recommend heading down here and seeing this in person (parking is abundant).  Regardless of your opinion of wind power or “green” energy – seeing this in operation is pretty neat.

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13 thoughts on “The Long Beach Windmill (Friday Photography)”

  1. Beautiful photos! Ps – According to a long-time employee down there, it was the power outage in Lido that put the turbine out of commission for a while.

  2. Appreciate that.

    RE: power, I had heard the same thing but haven’t heard it confirmed one way or another. Considering our average weather, and the fact that this turbine is basically a proof of concept, it is conceivable to me that they would have had no reason to spend extra money to make a more resilient turbine capable of handling the coldest of our cold weather. I thought it was an interesting point, but is certainly not confirmed.

  3. The wind turbine in Point Lookout is not for Long Beach, it is a Town of Hempstead wind/solar -to-> hydrogen manufacturing/processing plant/facility strictly for T of H “green”hydrogen powered vehicle fleet.
    Because of the power outage caused by a downed utility pole in Lido, the turbine’s over-speed safety was tripped, the computer programing was reading diagnostic info improperly and wouldn’t self restart, and because of the holidays, it took a week for the company tech to come down from Mass. to do the re-boot as the Town of Hempstead didn’t have the programing to do the re-boot themselves.
    If you head to the Point today, Sunday, you will see the turbine spinning quite nicely, the 17* temps today are not a factor in it’s operation. No additional turbines for this installation are in the works.
    My youtube video: http://youtu.be/b-V-jRClwtY

  4. Hey Shaun. Seriously great photos. You (and everyone else) should know about the Global Wind Day photo contest! Look it up or check our blog(note: no shameless self-promotional link attached!)
    ; )

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