Clean Power

Published on April 24th, 2012 | by Adam Johnston


Turbine Cowboys is “Cliffhanger” of Reality TV Entertainment

April 24th, 2012 by  


You knew it was only a matter of time before wind turbine technicians would get their own reality show, given wind energy’s growing importance in the energy sector and economy. Well, thanks to The Weather Channel, it’s come true. Turbine Cowboys, which premiered last week and airs on Tuesday evenings, does not disappoint as a “Cliffhanger” for the renewable energy crowd.

As Tina, when writing about Turbine Cowboys in February, noted, the show focuses on wind turbine technicians who face the various challenges of Mother Nature to fix various problems or get wind turbines up and running.

The first episode focuses on two places. The first place is Fossil Gulch, Idaho.  Two technicians, Brent Berentson and Alex Mulder, must inspect turbine blades ahead of a strong ice storm, with the potential of a further snow storm.

Meanwhile, a crew must battle high Caribbean winds on the Bahamas to install a new wind turbine after Hurricane Irene damaged some of the infrastructure on Over Yonder Cay.

One key feature of Turbine Cowboys is gives you a very in-depth look at the lives of wind turbine technicians, what they do for a daily living. It is very intriguing to see some of the challenges they consistently face. These challenges are clearly shown in the first episode, with Brent and Alex in Idaho in a race against time to fix a blade before an ice storm, and the Bahamas crew struggling to put up the new wind turbine, and how one slip up could cause serious injury.

One thing I thought was particularly good about the show was the superb camera work by the production crew. The Weather Channel seemed to spare no cost in providing some great camera angles, showing how dangerous and exhilarating a job being a wind turbine technician is.

While there maybe some criticism that the show should be more educational about the wind industry, I think Turbine Cowboys, nonetheless, hits an inside-the-park home run for The Weather Channel and reality television. Let’s hope we will see something like this for the solar energy sector in the future.

Verdict: 3.5 (out of 5) wind turbines from me.

Photo Credit: The Weather Channel

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

  • Kentmmillen

    This was very interesting to us, as we had a vintage Jacobs Wind plant power our weekend place from 1980, to 1992. I had taken it off an 80 ft. tower in eastern Montana, in 1979, and put up a 104 Ft. tower here, in Van Wert County, OH. We have a huge wind farm here. just put on line in the last few months. Keep up the good work!

  • Matt

    Sometimes what people want is drama. Once they get excited about wind energy, then they can hit the web and find CleanTechnica, and from there do some learn’in.

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