Why do some wind turbines spin, while others next to them do not?
Continuous variations in wind direction, speed and intensity cause some turbines to spin while others nearby may be idle.
How reliable is wind energy?
Sophisticated monitoring and wind resource analysis allow wind developers to estimate with a high degree of certainty "when" and "how much" wind energy is available, so customers can plan their wind power purchases. When the wind blows, it can displace fossil-fueled generation such as oil and gas. Studies have shown that when a utility diversifies its power portfolio with the addition of wind energy, it can meet demands more reliably.
What happens when the wind doesn't blow?
When the wind is calm, the turbine is at rest. However, at the hub height of a utility-scale wind turbine – usually more than 200 feet above ground – on a site selected specifically for its good wind resources, it is rare for the wind to be totally still.
Do wind turbines operate in extreme temperatures / weather conditions?
Turbines sited in areas that experience extreme cold or heat are equipped with special Arctic or tropical equipment packages. Nevertheless, in sustained winds of 56 mph or gusts of about 100 mph, turbines shut down automatically.
How often do turbines require maintenance?
Wind turbines generally require preventative maintenance checkups two to three times per year.
What does the computer system inside a wind turbine do?
The elaborate computer system inside a turbine performs thorough self-diagnostic tests and troubleshoots errors before the startup command is given. If the computer detects any problems it cannot auto-correct, the turbine automatically shuts down. In addition, a SCADA (system control and data acquisition) control system allows a remote operator (using a data link from anywhere in the country) to set new operating parameters, perform system checks and ensure turbines are operating at peak performance.
Is wind energy just the latest energy fad?
Not at all. Today, wind energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy resource in the world. Wind energy has always been clean and renewable and, over the past 20 years, the cost of wind energy has dropped about 80%.
How safe are wind turbines?
Wind energy is one of the safest energy technologies, with several built-in safety features to protect the turbines - but more importantly the surrounding landowners and communities.
What effect does lightning have on turbine operations?
Modern turbines are equipped with an extensive lightning protection system that transfers high voltages and currents without affecting turbine operations.
Are wind turbines noisy?
Wind turbines have moving parts, but the sound they make is virtually undetectable from a distance. You would have little difficulty conversing right beneath one.
What impact will a wind farm have on my property value?
Multiple studies have found wind farms have no significant long-term impacts on property values. View our property values fact sheet.
Do wind turbines negatively impact our health?
No. When properly sited, wind turbines are safe and effective means of generating electricity. Learn more about Wind & Health.
Do wind turbines impact birds, bats and wildlife?
Wind Energy is far less harmful to wildlife than traditional energy sources it displaces. View our Wind & Environment Fact Sheet.
What is the impact of new wind plants on the price of electricity to consumers?
While we cannot predict any direct correlation between new wind energy facilities and the price consumers will pay for electricity, easing the supply crunch with cost-efficient sources of power could prevent higher prices.
How does wind energy work with farming and ranching?
Wind energy can complement farming and ranching operations, adding a new source of income. Learn more about how wind energy works with farming and ranching.
What involvement does the community have in a wind energy project?
Building a strong partnership with the community is critical to the success of every NextEra Energy Canada project. With community dialogue a vital component of our strategy, we start speaking with residents early in the project development process to introduce the project and solicit early feedback on our proposal. Our goals are to:
- Establish a cooperative relationship with the community;
- Listen to our neighbors;
- Share information; and
- Ensure that our proposal fits the interests and priorities of the community.
We also meet with elected and appointed officials, civic associations, environmental groups and other community organizations. We periodically share new information, as it becomes available, to provide project updates to the community.
Is an environmental review performed?
An environmental review is performed for every project. NextEra Energy Canada works to preserve cultural and environmental resources. Wind projects are sited in areas where there is good wind, the ability to transmit the energy, a market for the energy, and land use is compatible with a wind farm.
Will the plant cause any pollution?
No. Wind-generated power does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, water emissions or solid waste by products.