Wind Energy Technologies: Technology, Market and Costs


Technology Overview
These large wind turbines turn Midwestern wind into utility electricity.
Wind turbines convert the power in the wind into electricity. By extracting the kinetic energy in the wind, wind turbines generate mechanical power. In the past, mechanical wind machines were widely used for specific tasks, such as pumping water or grinding grain. Today, wind turbines commonly use this mechanical power to generate electricity.
Wind technology is versatile and adaptable. A small stand-alone wind turbine can provide enough power for a typical U.S. household, while groups of larger turbines combine to generate utility-scale electricity. These large arrays, called wind farms or wind plants, deliver power to an integrated grid. This setup is very reliable: at any time, several wind turbines at a wind plant may be shut down for maintenance, but most of the turbines will still be running.

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