FAN-tastic Power

By: Alexis McGuire and Marina Du

What is Wind Energy?

  • The wind’s kinetic energy turns the blades, which spins a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity on a windmill.

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  • It costs between four and six cents per kilowatt-hour to generate electricity on a typical sized wind mill.
  • A 10 kW wind turbine costs approximately $48,000 – 65,000 to install. The equipment cost is about $40,000 and the rest of the cost is transportation and installation fess.
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Maintenance and Activity

  • Longevity - A modern wind turbine is designed to work for 120,000 hours throughout their estimated life-span of 20 years.

  • The maintenance cost of wind turbines are very low, but increases as the turbine ages. Maintenance costs are in the range of 1.5% to 2% of the original investment per year.


    • Generates electricity
    • It can create jobs. The wind sector employed more than 73,000 workers and has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs.
    • Wind energy can be used for anything from power on boats, battery charging, or electricity to be used commercially.

    • It helps reduce many fossil fueled machines that pollutes the earth. It is a very natural way to produce energy. (South Dakota has the second highest amount of windmills)

    How Wind Turbines Generate Electricity

    Materials Needed

    • A 1,000-MW wind farm would require approximately 85,240 acres of land (approximately 133 square miles)
    • Fiberglass, balsa wood, and carbon fiber are the most common materials found in wind turbine blades
    • Some of the parts used to make the windmill are tower, gear box, nacelle, generator , and a hydraulic system.


    • Its abundant-China, for example, has enough harnessable wind to increase its electricity assumption 16 fold
    • It's nondepletable- What we use doesn't effect how much we use tomorrow
    • Save approximately 260 gallons of water by 2050.
    • The federal government has a tax incentive of 2.3 cents per kWh for the production of electricity generated by wind energy.


    • Good wind sites are often located in remote locations
    • High Investment - turbines can be costly to set up and maintain especially for single families.
    • Spinning blades can be dangerous to birds and bats.
    • Noise can be a problem for neighboring homes.


    • Since we can’t ensure the wind always blows, or how strongly, coal and natural gas plants must be kept on as backup to compensate when it’s calm. This is known as baseload cycling, and its cost ranges from $2 to $23 per megawatt-hour. This also reduces the environmental friendliness of wind power.

    • Birds and other wildlife have the risk of running into the spinning blades and getting killed.

    • Turbines can create noise that may be a disturbance if built too close to a residency.