News & Articles on History of Wind Power

This page was prompted by a technical question about early electricity-generating wind turbines in the United States. The question followed a similar question about “who was the first” to interconnect a wind turbine with an electricity network. There is a lot of confusion internationally about both subjects.

The history of wind energy is a broad subject and many have written about it. I’ve pulled together a list of sources, books, links, and museums that I know about. This list is far from comprehensive. If anyone wants to add to this list or edit this list, please do so.

A number of the entries below are reviews I’ve written of books that include the history of wind energy. The original book can usually be reached from the review. Other news items are relevant to the history of wind turbine development.

Niels Borre Article 1979 9th Of June, Jyllandsposten 1200x800

Niels Borre’s Checkered Past Landed in California’s Salinas Valley

By

Paul Gipe

I fell down another rabbit hole when Klaus Rockenbauer at Global-Windphotos posted images of a group of mystery wind turbines …

Golden State Wind Power 01 1200x800

Mystery Wind Turbines of the Salinas Valley Wind Rush–Solved

By

Paul Gipe

During the heyday of the Great California Wind Rush in the early to mid 1980s, there were a handful of …

Smith Putnam 1,000 Kw Wind Turbine Atop Granpa's Knob, Vermont On 30 August 1941. Archives Of Carl Wilcox. Note That The Blades On The Downnwind, Flapping Rotor Are Feathered.

Smith-Putnam Operating Hours and Generation

By

Paul Gipe

“The turbine ran until March 26 when it threw a blade at 3.10 am. During this time it generated 61,780 …

V47 Monte Falcone Campania Italy 49

Wind Power Plants and Wind Farms Definitions

By

Paul Gipe

In recent correspondence with colleagues, I noted the unfortunate reoccurrence of the term “wind parks” to describe wind farms or …

Retrofutur Bruyerre 2023 11 20 122012 Cropped

Philippe Bruyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents–a Review

By

Paul Gipe

Eclectic. That’s the word that comes to mind when describing Philippe Brueyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents. …

Transpower By Vaughn Nelson In Other Wind Turbines Fig 6b

Transpower—the Flying Clothesline from the Early 1980s

By

Paul Gipe

Transpower was another of those companies that thought they had a bright idea about how to harness wind energy in …