The term wind power describes the process of harnessing the wind to generate electricity using “wind turbines”. As the wind blows, the blades of the turbine spin, which in turn spin a generator to make usable electricity. Wind turbines are frequently taller than 100 feet in order to capture faster and more consistent wind speeds at higher heights, where there are less obstructions.
Wind energy, while somewhat intermittent, is renewable, completely clean, and emits zero greenhouse gases. For more information on how wind turbines generate electricity, visit: https://energy.gov/eere/wind/how-do-wind-turbines-work
Atlantic County Utilities Authority Wind Turbines. Photo by ACUA
Groups of wind turbines are often referred to as “wind farms” and can vary widely in the total generating capacity. Current technology also enables wind turbines to be sited both on land, as well as offshore in the ocean.
Today, virtually all of the installed wind energy facilities in the United States exist on land. Most of these are located in the center of the country due to the strong wind speeds and available open space. Traditional utility scale wind farms on land are made up of groups of turbines that range from 80 meters to 140 meters high, where they are able to capture and harness the strong wind speeds at those heights.
Winds are typically stronger, more persistent and more abundant offshore than they are on land. As a result, there is a significant wind energy potential offshore along the continental shelf. Numerous commercial offshore wind facilities have been constructed overseas in the past two decades and in the United States, coastal states have started to integrate offshore wind into their energy portfolios. Learn more about offshore wind in New Jersey, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/aqes/offshorewind.html
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Onshore Wind in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority has an operating wind energy facility onsite at their wastewater treatment plant outside of Atlantic City. The “Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm” has been operational since 2005 and consists of five, 380-foot (roughly 116 meters) turbines that are capable of generating 7.5 megawatts of power.
Atlantic County Utilities Authority Wind Turbines. Photo by Steve Jacobus
Wind Energy Resources
Other Wind Resources: