Every time I drive via Interstate 580 , I get enticed by the huge wind mills that dot the landscape close to Livermore and Tracey . And have been planning to go back to get a closer look at this interesting landscape.
Finally, this labor day weekend I and Priya, my wife, decided to explore this area. Altamont wind farm is relatively unexplored . It is located in the Altamont Pass of the Diablo Range in Central California. It is one of the earliest wind farms in the United States. At one time it was the largest wind farm in the world . Altamont Pass is still the largest concentration of wind turbines in the world, with a capacity of 576 megawatts .
The drive looks like a pass through country side. Some of the windmills are really huge. Once you get closer and get out of your car, the wind and the grinding sound of the gargantuan mill blades is nerve wrecking at first. The winds were very strong and holding my camera stable with a long lens was a challenge. The evening was colorful and we witnessed a very gorgeous sunset.
If you are looking to explore this area your best bets are Patterson Pass Road (via exit 54 on 580) and Altamont Pass Road (via exist 55 on 580).
Sharing some images from this drive here.