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Albany – Western Australia

Albany, on the south west corner of Australia, is as far as you can possibly go from New York and still be on dry land.  I only lived there through my high school years, in the very early sixties, but still think of it as home.  It’s a small place, with the occasional very hot day in summer, but with bleak howling westerly gales and horizontal rain in winter.  It acts as the outlet for the hinterland and the local industry is visible (and totally understandable) by driving around in a 15 minute radius of the town center and taking a careful look at the dock facilities; here are grains of all sorts, pure white sand (to be turned into lenses and silicon ingots, wood chips (from environmentally disastrous plantations), wood pellets, wool, sheep for meat, beef cattle (by the way no beef in the shops is labeled “grass fed” – what on earth else would you feed cattle??).  It may be the end of the earth, but a pretty pleasant end for all that.

albany harbour

The wind farm at Albany is great – (Details here, at Wikipedia and here).  What impresses me is the total absence of any overhead wires and the careful groundwork, including aboriginal wisdom on conservation and integration with nature.  Some of the work was done using prison labor – the prison is just down the road.  That may not appeal to many for a variety of social and economic reasons, but it did result in a pleasant park-like venue.

Albanywind 1albany wind 2

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