A wind farm is a collection of wind turbines in the same location. Many wind turbines working together can produce a lot of electricity—just like coal or nuclear power plants. Wind turbines are often grouped together in wind farms because this is the most economical way to create electricity from the wind. In other words, wind farms give us the most power for our buck! Electricity from wind farms is one of the most affordable sources of electricity today, and may soon be the cheapest form as technology advances and fossil fuels become less abundant.
OFFSHORE WIND FARMS
Most wind farms are located on land, but wind farms can also be offshore in the ocean or sea. It is a good idea to put wind turbines offshore because the wind is often very strong and consistent away from land. Obstacles on land like trees and buildings slow down the wind and make it turbulent, but out at sea there is nothing to slow down the wind. Offshore wind farms typically use larger wind turbines (2.5 - 5 MW each).
Currently there are no offshore wind farms in the United States. There are several proposed projects, some of which may begin construction in the next few years. The Cape Wind project off the coast of Cape Cod was approved in 2010 by the Federal Government. This project has faced opposition from people who believe the wind farm will harm the aesthetic beauty of the Cape Cod region. Another project off the coast of Texas has been approved, and when constructed may produce upwards of 500 MW.
HERE'S A COOL IDEA!
Try Using KidWind model wind turbines like the Advanced Wind Experiment Kit or the MINI Wind Turbineto make a miniature wind farm! If you connect two or more model wind turbines together, you can measure the increase in power! You can also try some experiments to calculate the wind park effect on your miniature wind farm.