In recent days, large grey tubes over a hundred feet long have passed through Bishop on trucks, often stopping for the night at the Wye.
With few obstructions like overpasses and narrow canyons, Highway 395 to Highway 6 is a common transportation route for oversized loads. We stopped by to talk to one of the truck drivers about the large loads to find out what they are and where they are headed.
It turns out that these large tubes are parts for wind generation towers destined for a new wind farm in Northern California being built by a company called Pattern Energy. The site is in Shasta County near the town of Burney. The tower parked at the Wye Wednesday morning was 118 feet long, and really only one segment of the three hundred foot tall wind generators. The project at Hatchet Ridge is expected to include 44 turbines and be able to produce enough electricity to power 44,000 homes.
Pattern Energy officials report the turbines were bought from the company Siemens, which in turn subcontracted the construction of the towers out to a company in Fontana, CA.
The pieces that will make up the towers have been trucked through town in recent weeks. On Wednesday, the blades that will be attached to the wind turbines started to arrive in the Bishop area before the trip to the construction site in northern California.