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It was in 1951 that the first utility grid-connected wind turbine to operate in the United Kingdom was built by John Brown & Company in the Orkney Islands.
In 2006 Scotland put up the first 5 MW wind turbine.
In 2012, installed wind power capacity in the European Union totalled 105,000 megawatts (MW) - enough to supply 7% of the EU's electricity.
Wind power (2011-12):
US 60 GW 3% South Dakota 8.4 GW 22% EU 105 GW 7% United Kingdom 11.3 GW Scotland 2.8 GW 21% Germany 29 GW 10% Spain 17% Denmark 20% Japan 2.3 GW 0.5% Canada 5.3 GW 2.3%Wind turbines capture between 20% and 40% of the energy in the wind.
Most current turbines with 115 ft blades produce from 2-3 MW (Mega Watts) in optimal conditions (wind speeds of 25 to 55 MPH [14-25 m/sec].
At slower wind speeds, the production falls off dramatically. If the wind speed decreases by half, power production decreases by a factor of eight. On average, therefore, wind turbines do not generate near their capacity. Industry estimates project an annual output of 30-40%, but real-world experience shows that annual outputs of 15-30% of capacity are more typical.
The average capacity factor for 137 U.S. wind projects reporting to the Energy Information Agency in 2003 was 26.9%.
So at 25% efficiency a 2.5 MW turbine would produce about 5.5 million kWh a year.
In 2011, the average electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,280 kWh per year.
The total energy produced by a 2.5 MW turbine running at 25% efficiency continuously for a year is the equivalent of about 500 homes usage.
Capacity credit is the ability to replace other sources of power.
New Jersey offshore Wind proposals:
In 2007 New Jersey passed the Global Warming Response Act; The law mandates reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, approximately a 20 percent reduction below estimated 2020 business-as-usual emissions.
In 2008 the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved an initial 350 MW offshore wind farm, which will consist of 96 wind turbines 16 to 20 miles off the coast of Cape May and Atlantic counties. However, it has been held up by Governor Christie.
In 2010 New Jersey passed the "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act".
New Jersey is one of the best places for offshore wind because of the quality of wind (av. 15 - 20 MPH see above map) and a continental shelf that extends out 50 miles with depths around 65 ft. at 11 miles.
Specific advantages of offshore wind power include:
In May 2011, Cape May-based Fisherman's Energy submitted an application to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act for a demonstration project to build six wind turbines 2.5 miles off the coast at Atlantic City, called Fisherman's Atlantic City Windfarm.
The New Jersey segment of this offshore high-voltage DC backbone, known as the New Jersey Energy Link, could carry 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind power, allowing the industry to achieve economies of scale necessary for success.
The problem in the United States surfaced in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area - a facility then containing some 6,500 turbines on 73 sq miof gently rolling hills just east of San Francisco Bay, California. Of the variety of wind turbines at the site, the smaller, faster moving, Kenetech-built, lattice supported turbines caused most of the mortality at Altamont Pass. As part of a re-powering effort, these turbines are now being replaced with slower moving, tubular-supported turbines.
Erickson et al. (2001) assessed U.S. turbine impact, based on more than 15,000 turbines (some 11,500 in California), and estimated an average of 2.19 avian fatalities/turbine/yr.
A study of a turbine on the NJ shore near Atlantic City found 15 birds/year killed.
Bird fatalities due to collisions with tall building with reflective windows, communication towers and power line electrocutions (for larger raptors [eagles & hawks]) are much higher. Buildings result in more than 500 times the fatalities as wind turbines.
New towers are constructed as a large tube instead of a lattice so there is no temptation for birds to land on them and the blades move slower.
AWEA - American Wind Energy Association BPU - Board of Public Utilities EWEA - European Wind Energy Association GW - GigaWatts - one billion Watts (1,000 MW) kWh - KillaWatt hours - One thousand watts, used over 1 hour (measure of home usage) MARCO Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory MW - MegaWatts - one million Watts OCS - Outer Continental Shelf RFC - Reliability First Corporation PJM - A regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 Mid-Atlantic states.Links:
Natl. Renewable Energy Laboratory - NREL.gov: Dynamic Maps - Wind Maps
Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States
"20% Wind Energy by 2030,"
Wind turbine power curves.
New Jersey Offshore Wind Energy: Feasibility Study Nov., 2004
A Clean Northeast: Moving the Northeast Beyond Coal and Toward a Clean Energy Future, March 2011, Sierra Club
The business case for wind power: Opinion | NJ.com
Wind power in the United States - Wikipedia