What you being told is not what you get with wind farms in Wisconsin. You get a lot less than the supporters claim you will get. The reason for this follows: Wind farms can be classified in two ways.
One way is by the nameplate ratings of the installed turbines. If a turbine is designed to produce say 100 kilowatts, in actual use, that turbine may never produce 100 kilowatts or even close to it. It all depends on the site. The other method is by expected or actual output. These numbers are generated by data from operating turbines at a site or by data collected prior to installing the turbines. This is what the farm or turbine actually averages. That number in Wisconsin for all active and proposed wind farms is less than 30 percent of the rated output. This is obviously the number that counts yet is not the one the industry chooses to put out to the public.
For example: A turbine that is rated at 100 kilowatts will, in fact only average less than 30 kilowatts. It will only power 30 percent of the homes and only reduce air pollution by 30 percent of what the State, the utilities and the wind power industry say it will. This is not news to anyone but the general public. The power engineers use the accurate numbers in their calculations. Yet, when dealing with the public they revert back to the higher, misleading, numbers. It may well be that wind power is a good investment. But, it’s not as good as we are led to believe. Just reduce all of the claims by at least 70 percent, and then decide.
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2 April 2008