Two new U.S. based wind farms have just gone live and have begun producing electricity.
The first one – the Farmers City Wind Power Project, near Tarkio in Atchinson County, Missouri, is Missouri’s largest wind farm. It consists of 73 Gamesa wind turbines which can produce 146 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 33,000 homes. The turbines are spread across 14,000 acres of farmland, and local farmers are receiving lease payments from the developer, Iberdrola Renewables for the use of their land. Less than 1% of the farmland was taken up by the wind turbines – the rest of the land is used for growing corn and soybeans.
The second new wind farm announcement, also from Iberdrola Renewables, actually represents the second phase of the Penascal, Texas wind farm. Phase 1 was completed in April 2009, and was generating 202 megawatts. The expansion of the wind farm effectively doubled the production – another 168 Mitsubishi turbines have doubled the output to 404 megawatts. Additionally, Iberdrola Renewables equipped this wind farm with a special radar system that can detect large flocks of migratory birds, so that the wind farm can be shut down if a large flock of birds is spotted flying towards the turbines.