Wulf Small Wind Turbine Test Field Closed

By Paul Gipe

In another sign of the times, I’ve closed Wulf Field and sold the property to the neighboring wind farm managed by Windstream Properties.

Wulf Field was used to test the performance of micro and mini wind turbines. It was one of the first to do so and one of the few to publish its results–often to the dismay of manufacturers.

For nearly two decades Nancy Nies and I maintained the site, raised and lowered the turbines, and serviced the electronics used to measure the turbines’ performance.

We also deployed several forms of erosion control practices and planted the scarred and degraded land with native plants. Those plants are now well established.

Following surgery at the end of 2016, I was unwilling to service the batteries, electronics, and the turbine. Subsequently, I have not maintained the site for several years and it was time to move on.

Testing at Wulf Field fulfilled its function. We successfully tested almost a dozen micro and mini wind turbines during the two decades the test field was in operation. In the meantime the small wind turbine industry has matured and has begun to more rigorously test its turbines, in part because of the work we started at Wulf Field.

Working on the land donated by Ed Wulf for the purpose of testing small turbines was rewarding if not often demanding physically and mentally. Nancy and I spent many hours of hard labor revegetating the site. Our reward was carpets of spring windflowers, including baby blue eyes, cream cups, and poppies.

Owning and working the land at Wulf Field introduced us to California’s native plants and we have subsequently developed a keen interest in plants.

Testing of small turbines is now a commercial business with several companies providing this service–for a hefty fee–worldwide.

Ed Wulf would be satisfied. We used the land in the manner he intended.