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04/19/13

Photo of Wenco by Paul Gipe

Manufactured by a Swiss-Italian company, Wenco tried to take advantage of the California wind rush in the early 1980s by installing 100-kW turbines on Cameron Ridge in the Tehachapi Pass.

Wenco was a spectacular failure. Their extruded aluminum blades were not suited for such a large turbine and they after a short while spectacularly lost their blades.

Data from the California Energy Commission says there were 20 such turbines in the state at one time. I don’t remember that many, but it was three decades ago.

I do remember that there were several derelict Wenco turbines along the Pacific Crest Trail for many years until the Sierra Club filed a complaint with Kern County.

As I’ve said elsewhere, “a Swiss watch, they were not”.


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