2018-11-18
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/5533

USA - Latest Texas wind farm

The Wolf Ridge wind farm is Florida Power and Light Electric's latest push to produce cleaner and more sustainable energy

Texas produces more electricity from wind than any other state. Most of the wind farms are in west Texas, but the latest facility to go online is just north of Muenster, located about 30 miles northwest of Denton. Until recently, the sleepy little town of about 1,500 people was best known for its German heritage. Until the wind farm blew into town. The rolling fields just north of Muenster are now dotted with 75 electricity-producing wind turbines.

The Wolf Ridge wind farm was built by Florida Power and Light Electric as part of the company's push to produce cleaner, sustainable energy. The company says the 75 turbines - operating at optimal conditions - produce enough electricity to power about 27,000 Texas homes.

Lindsay Hunt, public relations specialist with FPL Energy says, "Unlike solar energy, which is another wonderful green renewable resource, you've only got it half the time; these are going all the time."

Each tower stands about 260 feet tall. That's about the height of a 30 story building. The huge blades are each 132 feet long; they start turning when the wind hits 8 miles and hour.. but onboard computers can shut them off if winds get too strong.

Tommy Trowbridge with FPL Energy says, " If it gets up to 55 miles per hour, it will shut itself down. And it'll monitor the wind, and if the wind stays below 55 for 'x' amount of time, it will turn itself back on and start producing again."

While the big wind mills are owned and operated by a Florida company, all of the electricity produced here will be used here. "These wind turbines are producing power in this grid; in this bucket, our bucket in Texas, and it can't come out of that bucket," says Hunt. "Anything produced in the bucket has to stay in the bucket."

While the 75 turbines located off FM 371, just north of Muenster, can be seen from miles around; there's not a single power line in sight. FPL says those were are placed underground for both safety and appearance. "The generator has the lines that run straight down into the turbine and they go underground to the substation and from the substation they go right out into the utility grid," says Hunt.

Unlike old windmills used to pump water up from wells.. modern technology allows these to move with the wind. Trowbridge explains, "The turbine itself will yaw into the wind; it will position itself into the wind where the wind is facing the front of the turbine. The blades will actually go from a 90-degree; they'll start pitching in."

It's estimated a little less than 5% of the electricity currently used in Texas comes from wind power. As more and more wind farms go online, that number is expected to grow.

FPL executives say they don't believe wind will ever be able to supply 100% of the country's electricity needs, but they think wind power's best days are still ahead.
Hunt says, "Wind is certainly going to be a piece of the puzzle. It is just not determined yet how big of a piece it's going to be."

Source:
Florida Power and Light Electric
Author:
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / Author: Florida Power and Light Electric Staff
Email:
ts@windfair.net
Link:
www.windfair.net/...
Keywords:
wind energy, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbine, rotorblade, offshore, onshore




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