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How Wind Power Works

Wind is a reliable and renewable source of energy that humans have used since the beginning of time. Ancient Persians discovered how to harness wind to produce mechanical power to grind corn and draw up water as early as 200 B.C. Europeans refined the windmill design in the 13th century and the Dutch continue to use a similar design today.

On modern wind turbines, large blades are pushed by the wind, driving a generator that converts the energy into electricity. The turbines are designed to track the wind as it changes direction in order to capture the maximum amount of wind. If the wind speed becomes excessively high, the turbine shuts down to avoid mechanical damage. Modern turbines can be as tall as 100 meters (328 feet).

The electricity produced by the turbines is then transported from the turbines through underground distribution lines to a substation, where the voltage is adjusted into a form of energy that can be delivered and used by homes and businesses.