The numerous turbines crowding the hills of the Tehachapi-Mojave area make it one of the world’s greatest creators of wind powered electricity. Operated by private companies, the Tehachapi Wind Farm produces 800 million kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power the residential needs of 350,000 people every year.
The Tehachapi region of California is considered to be the birthplace of wind power in North America. The open spaces, along with winds averaging 14 to 20 miles per hour, made it ideal for a renewable and clean energy center. While the first turbines installed in the 1980s stood at between 45 and 60 feet high, they now stretch up to between 400 and 500 feet high and can produce from 1 to 2.4 megawatts of power. At night, the FAA beacons on top of each turbine create eerily synchronized red flashes across the entire Tehachapi-Mojave area, visible from tens of miles away.
There are over 15,000 turbines in California, generating 1% of the state’s energy.
Know Before You Go
The Tehachapi Wind Farm is visible from Route 58 west of Mojave and east of Tehachapi, as well as the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail.