In June of 2009, after over eight years of planning, we proudly celebrated the installation of our new 225 kW Norwin wind turbine (windmill), one of our founder Nan Tucker McEvoy's most important accomplishments for our ranch and the environment.
"I know there is nothing my mother is prouder of," said Nion McEvoy of the iconic addition to our Petaluma landscape during the dedication ceremony.
As the largest wind turbine installed in Marin County and the first privately-owned windmill of its size in the state of California, it represents our dedication to sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.
Built by Danish manufacturer Norwin, the 14-ton windmill is anchored to a knoll on the west side of the ranch, held in place by 20-inch steel bolts driven into a 25-foot concrete foundation. The tower stands 97 feet tall, with blades reaching 50 feet long, for a total height of 147 feet. Its hilltop location was carefully chosen after consultations with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and other biologists, to ensure that its placement would avoid impact with local wildlife.
The turbine reduces our greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 110 tons per year, and also helps reduce waste and heavy metal pollution associated with nuclear, coal and gas-fired power plants that supply much of the state's electrical energy.
"This is not about agriculture," said Helge Hellberg, Executive Director of Marin Organic in the San Jose Mercury News. "It's about looking at ways to meet the challenges of finding alternative sources of energy. That's not just wind, or solar, or methane, but all of them. It's the mix of alternative sources of energy that is going to make a huge difference."
See more shots below of our windmill installation. To learn more about our sustainable farming practices, join us on one of our Ranch Tours.