Wind Energy

Wind Energy is a type of renewable energy, and there are three major types of wind power.

The major types of wind power are:

  • Utility-scale wind, wind turbines larger than 100 kilowatts are developed with electricity delivered to the power grid and distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators;
  • Distributed or “small” wind, which uses turbines of 100 kilowatts or smaller to directly power a home, farm or small business as it primary use;
  • Offshore wind, which are wind turbines erected in bodies of water around the world, but not yet in the United States.

Wind Energy

How Does wind energy work

When wind blows past a turbine, the blades capture the energy and rotate. This rotation triggers an internal shaft to spin, which is connected to a gearbox increasing the speed of rotation, which is connect to a generator that ultimately produces electricity. Most commonly, wind turbines consist of a steel tubular tower, up to 325 feet, which supports both a “hub” securing wind turbine blades and the “nacelle” which houses the turbine’s shaft, gearbox, generator and controls. A wind turbine is equipped with wind assessment equipment and will automatically rotate into the face of the wind, and angle or “pitch” its blades to optimize energy capture.

How Does Wind Energy Delivered

Wind turbines often stand together in a windy area that has been through a robust development process in an interconnected group called a wind project or wind farm, which functions like a wind power plant. These turbines are connected so the electricity can travel from the wind farm to the power grid. Once wind energy is on the main power grid, electric utilities or power operators will deliver the electricity where it is needed. Smaller transmission lines called distribution lines will collect the electricity generated at the wind project site and transport it to larger “network” transmission lines where the electricity can travel across long distances to the locations where it is needed, when finally the smaller “distribution lines” deliver electricity directly to your town and home.