While taking the scenic route recently from Frostburg, Md., to Meyersdale, Pa., for the Pennsylvania Maple Festival, Sydney and I blundered into our nearest wind farm, the Meyersdale Wind Energy Center. Here is Sydney standing near the base of the southernmost windmill, the first of 20 that march along the ridgeline.
If these towers have the same dimensions as those in nearby Somerset, each is 210 feet tall, and their rotors are 231 feet in diameter, so their true height is something like 325 feet. They're visible above the trees from miles away, like Wells' Martian war machines.The morning we drove past, which wasn't windy at ground level, the windmills sounded like the world's largest slowly turning ceiling fans: rrrrWHUP rrrrWHUP rrrrWHUP. It was a weird sound, oddly musical, and not particularly loud, quite easy to talk over. On a really windy day, I'll drive back up there to see how the sound differs.
We discovered on the drive home that the best ground-level view of all 20 towers is from U.S. 219 between Meyersdale to the north and I-68 to the south. Here's a view from midair.
This wind farm is owned by FPL Energy, a sister company of Florida Power & Light, but the 30 megawatts it generates -- enough to power 12,000 homes -- is sold to FirstEnergy of Akron, Ohio.