Last weekend Ellen and I spent some time in Northern Minnesota. Since Saturday started out to be a rather damp and cloudy day, we drove to Duluth and visited the railroad museum. That is a great place to spend a cold, rainy fall day while learning a lot about the early logging and mining operations and the railroads that supported them.
But, as we came out of the museum we discovered the day had cleared to sunny blue skies! We decided to book passage on cruise of the Duluth harbor….something neither of us had done before. We had a great time seeing the sites of Duluth from the water side. This included the aerial lift bridge, the working docks, sailboats, etc.
One of the most interesting things for me was seeing the large number of wind turbines at the cargo dock. These turbine systems were shipped in from other countries and are most likely destined for installation in Minnesota or some nearby state. Seeing the great number of turbines made me think about what a big business renewable energy has become. These turbines will be trucked to rural sites and set on huge steel columns, will have big blades attached and will be firmly anchored to enormous concrete bases. Then there will be electrical lines to connect. Once the turbines are up and running they will need servicing and maintenance on a regular basis. All this work ads jobs to our economy and keeps energy dollars here in Minnesota. It is wonderful to see such effort going into a renewable energy product like this.