The open spaces and high winds make the northern part of Antelope Valley an ideal wind energy center. It’s also close to Los Angeles, so the length and cost of transmission lines is relatively low.
Most of these turbines are grouped around the Tehachapi Pass, where air flow from the Pacific Ocean funnels through the Tehachapi Mountains.
Throughout this series of Landsat images, displayed in natural color, new lines are etched in the landscape, like a giant geoglyph. These roads connect to bright spots indicating the locations of wind towers. Most appeared between 2010 and 2014, but many new towers were built in the northern portion of the images at the foothills of the mountain range between 2014 and 2018.
The first wind towers, which stood 45 to 60 feet tall, were built in this region in the 1980s. New wind towers are up to 500 feet tall and each produce 1 to 2.4 megawatts of power.
The United States Wind Turbine Database shows locations and owners of every wind turbine in the U.S. According to the viewer, the number of wind turbines in this part of the Landsat images is 3,288 with a rated capacity of 2,921 megawatts (as of April 2022).