Generation on the Wind
In 1978, the price of oil soared and domestic reserves plummeted resulting in long lines at gas stations. President Carter declared an ‘energy crisis.’ When David Vassar learned about a group of young environmental activists, engineers, and artists who were building a windmill to generate electricity on a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts, he sensed a story. After raising independent financing from his lawyer and landlord, David spent a solid year documenting the construction of the giant wind turbine. It is an engineering story as well as a story about the American spirit, but most of all it was a story about generating power from a renewable resource. In 1979, the Cutty Hunk windmill was the largest wind turbine ever constructed for the generation of electricity. It wasn’t built by General Electric or funded by the Department of Energy, it was built by hand with private money from small investors. Although retired from service, the Cutty Hunk windmill provided ‘proof of concept’ for what is now a ubiquitous source of renewable energy.