Update on Thunder Spirit wind farm near Hettinger

Your view for the next 25 years. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com
Your view on the farm for the next 25 years. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

In a sort of grand opening, the shell company that owns the Thunder Spirit wind farm invited the community to sign a turbine blade.

8/26 – Dickinson Press – Blade-signing event heralds wind farm near Hettinger – If you want to see how huge wind turbines are and why they are so deadly to birds, you gotta’ check out the photo that goes with the story. The cross-section of the blade, its width, is equal to the height of the people signing the blade.

The article quotes the Lt. Governor, Congressional representative, and county commissioner waxing philosophically how wonderful the economic impact will be from the wind farm.

Article does not contain any comment from the pair of golden eagles nesting two miles from a planned turbine. The couple did not provide any newsworthy quotes regarding the impact of the wind farm on their life expectancy.

Some other info on the Thunder Spirit slice-and-dice farm near Hettinger, North Dakota:

  • Allete Clean Energy – the shell company that owns the wind farm, in turn a subsidiary of Allete.
  • 43 – number of turbines
  • 10,000 acres – footprint of wind farm
  • 2.7 – turbines per square mile
  • 2.5 MW – rated capacity of each turbine
  • 426,000 mWh – expected output per year for 43 turbines
  • 9,907 mWh – Expected annual output per turbine (calculated as 426,000 mWh divided by 43)
  • 10.86 hours – expected time each day that each turbine will be operating at capacity (calculated as 9907 mWh each turbine divided by 2.5 MW theoretical capacity divided by 365)
  • 45% – percent of theoretical capacity that is expected to actually be delivered. From what I have read, this would be an extraordinarily efficient wind farm. I expect the actual capacity to be below 45%.

The expected utilization is that the wind farm will deliver 45% of the theoretical capacity.

Hope mommy and daddy eagle teach their kiddies to stay away from those six-foot wide blades spinning at around a hundred miles an hour at the tip.

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