Wind Power Overview 
Where does the wind power come from?
  • Wind turns the blades of a wind turbine.
  • The rotation of the blades generates a direct current (DC) of electricity.
  • An inverter is used to convert the DC electricity to the alternating current (AC) electricity used in homes and other buildings.

Efficiency and Cost to Build
  • Not all sites are cost-effective for wind production and specific areas of the country are better than others for installing a wind turbine.
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides site maps and details on locating wind power production facilities around the U.S.
  • A minimum average wind speed of 12 miles per hour is typically needed.
  • Consult with a renewable energy professional to get system recommendations and estimated cost comparisons.

Why does wind power cost more?
Even though the fuel is free, generating electricity from wind can be more expensive than conventional means. That's because the wind may not always blow and the up front costs to build a new generation facility can be expensive. If the wind doesn’t blow, there is no energy to capture. Wind speeds required for generating occur about 35% of the time in our region, compared to a natural gas or coal-fired power plant which can produce electricity more than 85% of the time.

More information
  • For residential net metering systems, contact an Energy Advisor.
  • For utility-scale producing wind systems, contact Jeff Gibbs at 314.554.4322.
  • For more information on wind energy, visit the American Wind Energy Association website.
Wind power overview, what is wind power
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