The windmill, or wind turbine electric generator, is an icon in the Coachella Valley.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours is taking guests beyond the fence to observe the only operating wind farm in Southern California and learn about their history. The wind farm is home to 3,000 machines.
“Originally there was 90 machines installed on this property there was 80 kilowatts each,” said David Hixon, President of Palm Springs Windmill Tours. “Now there are five machines that are 400 feet tall and they provide 1.6 megawatts each.”
Collectively, forty parcels owned and operated separately, provide power to about one million people. Although power is created here in the valley, it can be transported to service households anywhere in the country.
“You do lose some power when you transport it over long distances so most of the power is going to be used here locally,” said Hixon.
Some of the windmills on the farm have run continuously for thirty years, while others feature the most advanced modern technology.
Combined, two of the newest windmills on the farm provide power to about 3,000 people. Each is also around 300 feet high and 30 stories tall.
The farm is also home to two solar panel installations.
“One of the solar projects is around 15 acres and it provides the same power as one machine that takes up a lot less space,” explained Hixon.
But, both provide something crucial — renewable energy.
“The winds never going to go away the winds always going to be here so why not take advantage of it and produce power because when the sun goes down at night, the wind blows,” concluded Hixon.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours offers tours daily at 9 am, noon and 3 pm. For more information and to schedule yours, click here to visit their website.