The World's Largest Wind Farm Began Operations Today

The world's largest windfarm began operating today. The Roscoe Wind Complex is composed of 627 turbines over four counties in western Texas. According to E.On Climate and Renewables North America, the owner, it is already generating at full capacity -- that's 781.5 megawatts, or enough electricity to power 230,000 homes. John McFarland wrote for the Associated Press:

At the Roscoe wind farm, the turbines range in size from about 350 to 415 feet tall, and they're generally spaced about 900 feet apart, Woodson said. The land is leased, mostly from dryland cotton farmers who continue to work the fields around them, Woodson said. Texas is the nation's leading producer of cotton, most of it from West Texas.

"It's a use that appears to be quite complimentary," Woodson said. "This whole community was extremely welcoming to us."

E.ON has facilities around the state, but it could be awhile before the company builds more huge wind farms in West Texas because of the glut of wind companies and lack of transmission lines, Woodson said. The state is planning more lines from West Texas to more heavily populated areas, but they won't be completed for at least two more years.


Link via TigerHawk | Image: Biggunben, used under Creative Commons license

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The wind blows all the time in the area where this was built. The windmills marching across the land are a sight to behold! Here is a link to real-time data on electricity in Texas, and one of the items is Wind Output. The wind output number will change through the day as the sun's heat generates more wind, and as mills start or stop turning in response to daily demand. It is interesting to refresh and watch how output rises and falls throughout a day:
http://mospublic.ercot.com/ercot/jsp/frequency_control.jsp
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More power, more jobs! A lot of people think these windmills are an eyesore but I consider them a marvel of human achievement.

And WOW to that Malawian teenager. Just shows you how much of the world is still without the internet, information and electricity.
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machine - I agree.

With anything that can shut down (like wind turbines when the wind drops below the minimum speed required to generate electricity), you have to have a backup source of electricity. Here in the US, that means leaving another powerplant running but not adding to the grid until needed. That's really environmental.

And if I read that article right, these turbines are up and running, but they have not built the infrastructure to get that electricity from the turbines to the customers? How damaging will these electric lines, poles, and roads (so the lines can be built and maintained) be?
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