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What are the advantages of wind energy?

  • Wind is a renewable energy resource. Coal, oil and natural gas are nonrenewable.
  • No emissions are released into the atmosphere. Other energy resources release carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases when they are burned.
  • Environmental effects of mining and well drilling are avoided.
  • Wind generates electricity without bringing in fuel from outside the state.

Are wind turbines reliable and safe?

The turbines are, on average, operational and ready to run during more than 95% of the year. They are very safe. Redundant braking systems slow and stop the rotation of the blades (aerodynamic and mechanical braking systems). The blades have been thoroughly tested for strength and fatigue over time. The strong towers are hollow and offer safe access for service personnel. 

 How close are the turbines to homes or roads?

Where the turbines are placed is highly dependent on factors such as wind strength and aesthetics. They are not placed within 800 feet of residences and 300 feet from public or developed roads.

 Are wind turbines noisy?

Today’s wind turbines are very quiet. At 200 yards, the swishing sound of rotor blades is usually masked completely by wind noise in the leaves of trees or shrubs. Even with the steps taken to reduce wind turbine noise, some noise is produced. 

We are required to maintain a noise level less than 50 dBa at any nearby home. Tests have shown that we are below the required level.

Examples of noise:*   

Rock concert

110 dBa

Diesel truck

90 dBa

Vacuum cleaner

 70 dBa

Normal conversation

 60 dBa

Soft whisper

 30 dBa

Jet taking off

120 dBa

 What happens to a site where wind turbines are no longer needed?

The turbines at the MGE site should operate for at least 25 years. At the end of their useful life, we anticipate that the site will be repowered with new turbines.

 Which turbine is suitable for my needs?

A medium sized average home requires between 4–6 MWh of energy per annum. A school, office, community centre or farm will almost certainly use a lot more.An assessment of the power requirements of your particular application and a wind speed assessment of your site, will need to be made in order to determine which turbine will meet all your needs, however the question may not be as important as you might imagine ... 

The wind turbine, and your property, will be connected to the national grid, so whenever you need more power than the wind turbine can produce, it will simply come from your electricity supplier as it does now. When your turbine produces more power than you need, it is exported to the grid, and you get paid for the surplus.


How do wind turbines generate electricity?

Wind turbines have a rotor (a hub with three blades), a power shaft and a generator to convert wind energy into electrical energy. Wind passes over the rotor and makes it spin. This spinning motion is used by the generator to produce electricity. 

 The amount of energy produced depends on wind speed and the diameter of the rotor. Because wind speed increases with height, the wind turbines are mounted on towers. A good location for wind turbines should have average annual wind speeds of at least 12 miles per hour. Small changes in average wind speed are important. Even a one-mile-per-hour increase in wind speed makes a significant difference in the power available to generate electricity.

 Do the turbines affect TV or radio reception?

Several thousand towers have been erected in Europe and California. The majority of these turbines have not caused any signal interference. MGE sited the wind turbines to minimize signal interference. MGE fixed any TV signal problems nearby neighbors had.

 Are birds affected by wind turbines?

Care is taken to locate wind turbines away from sensitive wildlife areas such as wetlands and migratory paths. MGE’s wind site was reviewed by independent agencies for environmental impacts including bird mortality. Ongoing studies at our site have shown that bird mortality has not been a problem.

 What happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

The turbines are dependent on the wind to produce electricity. On a calm day, the turbines won’t be able to produce power. But electricity is still available; other power plants will adjust their output to make up the difference.

 What happens if lightning strikes a wind turbine?

Each wind turbine is protected from lightning by a grounding system. In the event of a strike, the system guides the electrical energy safely to ground. This system is similar to the lightning

Can wind turbines blend into the landscape?

The turbines are located in open terrain to have access to the wind. Better equipment designs and careful planning dramatically improve the appearance of wind farms.

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