Where the wind rushes through Altamont Pass in California is a great place for windmills. The Altamont Windmills, built starting in 1981, are Bay Area icons. Now this early wind farm is getting a makeover with help from another icon – Google.

The search giant plans to buy power from some of these mills to power the Googleplex in Mountain View with 100 percent renewable energy. 

“It’s important that we get these important companies off of fossil fuels and moving toward clean energy,” said Garrison Frost, of the Audubon Society. “And this involvement at Altamont is a great thing.”

Frost is also in favor of transitioning to new windmills which are safer for birds.

“The new technologies, while taking many fewer turbines to generate the same amount of power, will actually generate 30 percent more energy,” said Nancy Rader, of the California Wind Power Association.

Instead of a hillside crowded with 800 small mills, Altamont will see fewer, but more massive windmills – 48 of them at 400 feet tall.

“This is a technological improvement for wind generation that will make it better and easier for California to achieve its renewable energy goals,” Rader said.

It will change the view of this familiar landscape for the first time in a generation. The new towers should be up by the end of the year.