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Wind Power Overview

Wind power is growing by leaps and bounds in popularity. It is now the fastest growing segment of renewable energy. New wind turbines are popping up all over the United States at the rate of about 10 new turbines a day, and over the last 10 years the amount of power produced by wind energy has grown from 5,000 megawatts to 60,000+ megawatts of installed capacity.


Stateline Wind Project

The largest wind farm in North America is the Stateline Wind Project, located on the border of Oregon and Washington state. Stateline has 186 turbines currently installed, with 279 more approved for construction. The $300 million project will be the largest wind farm in the world when completed.

The advantage of creating electrical energy without a carbon footprint, and without continuous purchases of fossil fuels such as coal, has made wind power a sensible alternative. 

Of course, the drawbacks are there for power companies as well. The amount of electricity harnessed is totally reliant upon the weather conditions each day. This means that wind farms have to be incorporated in a system that already has a sufficient backup power supply. Storing excess energy in batteries is very expensive and not cost effective for producing affordable power. 

So what does this all mean for the homeowner? It means that using wind turbines for producing electric power for your home is a good idea, but it is necessary to keep in mind the limitations. 

Having an intermittent power source is fine if you are just wanting to tie into your existing system and spin your electric meter backwards every once in a while. But if you are needing to rely solely on renewable energy for your power supply, or if you are wanting to have a backup power source if your electricity is out, storing electrical energy is a must. See our battery buying guide for details.

The best thing about wind power is the benefit of having a source of energy whenever solar energy is unavailable. It is often the perfect compliment because when the storm clouds roll in and block out the sun, there is usually wind. And, unlike solar energy, it works to produce energy during the nighttime hours. Wintertime is cloudier in some regions of the country and this is where wind power will often be there to answer the call. 

But will wind power be there to answer the call in your particular region of the country? This is important to know. A lot of money could be wasted if you invest in a wind power when you don't have enough wind in your area to justify the expense. Our article, "Best regions for Wind Power" can be a helpful resource.

 

Coming soon: Sign up for our free six part mini-course on how to properly plan for adding solar and wind energy to your home.

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On the site you will find valuable articles covering how wind energy is harnessed through wind turbines, how solar energy is harnessed through photovoltaic solar panels, best locations for Wind Power and much more. You will also find helpful reviews of Do it Yourself guides that we have purchased and researched. 

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