Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wind Power Captured at the Fair

Visitors to the Iowa State Fair this year will no doubt see the new wind turbine spinning high above the highest hill at the fairgrounds.

The working wind turbine is a new addition to the fair this year, standing 133 feet above the fairgrounds and capable of generating .5 megawatts of electricity. The structure was built by MidAmerican Energy, the current leader in wind power production in Iowa.
While the turbine is producing power at the fair, it's also sending a message to visitors from out-of-state that Iowa is serious about renewable energy. The turbine was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday with Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, who said that as people from all around the globe descend upon Des Moines to enjoy the fair, "they are able to see one more reason why Iowa is great -- renewable energy."
Culver noted the fact that in the past two years, three of the five major wind energy manufacturers, Acciona, Siemens, and Clipper, have chosen Iowa as the place to establish their North American production facilities.
There are currently more than 1,000 wind turbines in operation in Iowa, capable of producing more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 250,000 homes, Culver said.
The new MidAmerican Energy wind turbine at the Iowa State Fairgrounds was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the fair on Tuesday. Pictured are, from left, MidAmerican president Greg Abel, Iowa State Fair manager Gary Slater, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge.

The wind turbine at the fair begins producing electricity any time the wind starts blowing at 11 miles per hour or more. It attains maximum power output when the wind speed hits 34 mph.
The tower itself stands 133 feet above the ground, and each of its three rotor blades are 64 feet long.

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