By Larry F. Brown, PhD – Re-Blogged From WUWT
We visited a wind farm in southern Utah recently. I’ve always been curious about the costs, profitability, and physical size of these things as well as the footprint and environmental impact. I had 3 meetings with the man in charge of maintenance of the wind farm, a landowner who leases land accommodating 4 of the turbines, and a man who works in the industry in Colorado – and did some internet/newspaper research.
The maintenance superintendent told me they have 27 towers, that the installation cost was about $2 million each, and that each turbine is rated at 2.3 megawatts/hr but produces an average of 1.3 megawatts/hr (= 1,300 kW/hr). The blades are 187 ft long so the total height is nearly 400 feet high, and the tower at the base is about 13 ft in diameter encapsulated in huge quantity of concrete. The project pays about $1 million in taxes to the community each year and has a 20-year lease.