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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Wind Energy?

What is wind energy?

What is a wind turbine and how does it work?

Can Wind Generation Help Prevent Global Warming?

Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?

Are Wind Turbines Noisy?

How often do wind turbines produce electricity?

What is a wind farm or wind generation facility?

How much energy can a wind turbine produce?

How much energy can a wind farm produce?

 

 

Why Wind Energy?

Wind energy is clean energy, it is 100% renewable, produces zero emissions and does not use water to generate electricity. 

 

What is wind energy?

Wind is created naturally in the atmosphere.  As a form of energy, it is an inexhaustible supply of clean, environmentally friendly electricity.  Wind energy is a converted form of solar energy. The sun’s radiation heats different parts of the earth at different rates – most notably during the day and night, but also when different surfaces (for example, water and land) absorb or reflect at different rates. This is turn causes portions of the atmosphere to warm differently. Hot air rises, reducing the atmospheric pressure at the earth’s surface, and cooler air is drawn in to replace it. The result is wind.

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What is a wind turbine and how does it work?

A wind turbine is a device consisting of a tower, blades (typically three), and an enclosure behind the blades containing the rotor and generator.  The wind turbine is built to capture the energy of the wind. When wind blows past the turbine’s blades, the wind makes the blades turn, which turns the rotor in the electrical generator creating electricity.  The turbines are connected to the electric grid by underground wires so the electricity can be transported over the utilities transmission and distribution system and used for everyday purposes in homes and businesses.

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Can Wind Generation Help Prevent Global Warming?

Global Warming is a growing concern in the U.S. and around the world. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is considered the major contributor to global warming collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up. Climate change is expected to raise sea level, change precipitation, and alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. Global warming can also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Coal burning power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S. Coal plants contribute nearly two-thirds of the nation’s carbon emissions producing 2.5 billion tons every year. Coal accounted for more than 41% of U.S. electricity supply in 2010 and the proportion is set to remain steady. 

Wind generation is part of the solution, it can generate a significant amount of clean, renewable electricity that will displace fossil fuel plants such as coal, oil and natural gas reducing the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere and reducing global warming.

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Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?

Over the past decade, the wind community has learned that wind farms and wildlife can and do coexist successfully. Wind energy development’s overall impact on birds is extremely low (<1 of 30,000), when compared with collisions with buildings and windows, which are responsible for about 55% of annual bird deaths, or housecats which are responsible for about 10% of bird deaths annually representing a far greater threat to birds than wind farms.

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Are Wind Turbines Noisy?

Modern wind turbines produce very little noise. The turbine blades produce a whooshing sound as they encounter turbulence in the air, but this noise is generally masked by the background noise of the blowing wind. An operating modern wind farm at a distance of 750 feet to 1,000 feet is no more noisy than a kitchen refrigerator.

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How often do wind turbines produce electricity?

Wind farms are built in places with strong, steady winds to ensure that they produce as much power as possible, as much of the time as possible.  However, wind is variable depending on the time of day and time of the year.  A typical wind farm would produce electricity in the range of 25-40% of its rated capacity over the course of the year, but can produce electricity at full capacity on any given day when the wind exceeds a certain threshold amount.

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What is a wind farm or wind generation facility?

A wind farm or wind generation facility is a group of wind turbines sited near each other in order to generate more electricity than a single turbine.

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How much energy can a wind turbine produce?

The amount of electricity that a turbine can produce depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the wind turbine and the amount of wind on the property.  Today’s commercial scale wind turbines typically range from 1.0 MW to 2.5 MW.  A 1.5 MW turbine can generate enough clean energy to power approximately 500 homes per year.

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How much energy can a wind farm produce?

A 20 MW wind generation facility can generate enough electricity for approximately 5,000 to 6,000 homes per year. There are more than 20,000 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States spanning 34 states, supplying approximately 1% of the nation’s electricity and enough to power more than 5 million homes.

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