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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Montana Wind

In addition to making my parents take me to the Glendive Dinosaur Museum, I made them take me to see the windmills in Baker, Montana. This is the Diamond Willow Wind Farm. These thirteen turbines are the result of Montana-Dakota Utilities mandate for 10% renewable energy by 2010.

According to the Fallon County Times:


The 13 turbines will have the capacity of 19 1/2 megawatts which is enough energy to power 7,000 residences. That's all the construction MDU plans on the wind farm at the present time. However, when MDU officials met with the Fallon County Commissioners last spring, they indicated they planned to eventually produce 30 megawatts of electricity at the Diamond Willow. Hanson said that's a definite possibility in the future....

When a tower is complete, it stands 262 feet high and cranes are used in the actual construction. A larger crane than a standard construction crane is used to put up the lower and middle tower sections. An even larger crane is used to put on the top section, equipment housing and blades which are 121 feet long.

The blades will begin to turn with wind of six or seven mph, Hanson said. As soon as they are turning at a consistent rate, they start producing energy which goes into the power grid. The blades reach capacity at wind speeds of about 25 mph.

Read more about Montana's wind plan here.

It was kind of cool seeing oil derricks, cows, windmills, and my parents all getting along peacefully.
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