Mountaineer Wind Energy

44 wind turbines were installed along this West Virginia mountain ridge 20 years ago, able to provide enough energy to power 20,000 homes.

Video recently recorded near several of these wind turbines:
Mountaineer wind energy map:
Image shows 44 turbines with a total rated capacity of 66 MW

The number of turbines installed in the U.S. each year varies based on a number of factors, but on average 3,000 turbines have been built in the U.S. each year since 2005.

Source: USGS
Appalachian mountain ridges have provided multiple opportunities for wind energy:
Image shows 1,276 turbines with a total rated capacity of 2,525 MW

A key challenge facing the wind industry is the potential for turbines to adversely affect wild animals both directly, via collisions, as well as indirectly due to noise pollution, habitat loss, and reduced survival or reproduction. Among the most impacted wildlife are birds and bats, which by eating destructive insects provide billions of dollars of economic benefits to the country’s agricultural sector each year.

Source: USGS
Image of Pennsylvania wind power:
Image shows 758 turbines with a total rated capacity of 1,459 MW (Source)

According to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Table 30), depending on make and model wind turbines are predominantly made of steel (66-79% of total turbine mass); fiberglass, resin or plastic (11-16%); iron or cast iron (5-17%); copper (1%); and aluminum (0-2%).

Source: USGS
Using the US map you can zoom in on individual turbines:
Image shows 72,130 turbines with a total capacity of 134,362 MW
You can explore the U.S. wind turbine map here.

How many homes can an average wind turbine power?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. home uses 893 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month. Per the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, the mean capacity of wind turbines that achieved commercial operations in 2020 is 2.75 megawatts (MW). At a 42% capacity factor (i.e., the average among recently built wind turbines in the United States, per the 2021 edition of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Land-Based Wind Market Report), that average turbine would generate over 843,000 kWh per month—enough for more than 940 average U.S. homes. To put it another way, the average wind turbine that came online in 2020 generates enough electricity in just 46 minutes to power an average U.S. home for one month.

Source: USGS
Source: Climate Reality Project

Is there an international wind turbine database available?
To our knowledge, the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) is unique. Other datasets might be available from other countries on an ad hoc basis, but we are not aware of any central repository of those data. For general information and statistics on international wind projects, see thewindpower.net

Source: USGS

MORE: Manchin’s Coal-Powered State: WV Electricity Rate Increase Requested

Powering England with the world’s largest offshore wind farm
There are only seven offshore wind turbines off the coast of the United States compared to nearly 6,000 in Europe. This is the Hornsea Wind Farm, more than 300 turbines spread across 335 square miles generate enough electricity to help power more than 2 million homes a day. They’re nearly 600 feet high with spinning fiberglass blades roughly the length of the world’s largest passenger jet. Each blade weights almost 30 tons. This year 13% of Britain’s energy has come from offshore wind. “They are operating 98-99% of the time.”

Record energy haul: Offshore prototype operates over capacity for 24 hrs
A prototype wind turbine has recorded an extraordinary single-day renewable energy production total, bringing in a massive 359 megawatt-hours in a 24-hour time period. Slated for serial production in 2024, the SG 14-222 DD uses three colossal 108-meter (354-ft) blades, creating a 39,000-sq-m (420,000-sq-ft) swept circle. And while it’s nominally rated at a 14 MW capacity, it offers a “power boost” function that can take energy production up to 15 MW.

Leave a Reply