11 Jun

McEvoy Ranch in northern Marin unveils windmill

By Rob Rogers,
Photo Frankie Frost,

Publishing heiress Nan McEvoy hopes a once-controversial 98-foot-tall windmill on her northern Marin ranch will become an inspiration for farmers and others interested in leaving fossil fuels behind.

mcevoy-olive-oil-windmill“I know there is nothing my mother is prouder of,” said Nion McEvoy, who spoke on his mother’s behalf during a dedication ceremony at the McEvoy Ranch Wednesday morning. “I know that this project was controversial, but I hope that over time people will see it is not as terrible as they might have feared, and the positive aspects of promoting a progressive energy policy will become evident.”

McEvoy had originally planned to build a 246-foot-tall windmill, powerful enough to power and heat the dozen or so buildings and olive oil processing plant on her 552-acre ranch. After neighbors and the Marin Planning Commission balked at the windmill’s size, however, McEvoy proposed a smaller structure, with a 98-foot tower and blades 40 feet in diameter.

The new windmill will provide an average of 225 kilowatts of electricity, enough to meet the ranch’s needs. To heat the ranch, however, contractor Sustainenergy Systems of Inverness is currently installing solar thermal panels throughout the ranch’s buildings.

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