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For Wind Farms: Windy Days May Not Be Such a Good Thing

Windy days mean more power. Especially in the Big Country where wind farms are a dime a dozen.
Windy days mean more power. Especially in the big country where wind farms are a dime a dozen.

"It's a good thing because as long as the availability is up and their able to capture the wind and produce electricity, they're making money," said Keith Plantier, director for energy systems at Texas State Technical College's (TSTC) West Texas Campus.  

Wind farms actually thrive on thirty per mile winds.  It allows the turbines to produce high quantities of energy- up to 2MW of power.  That can produce enough energy for 50 to 70 houses.

Inside the turbine technicians check this monitor to see the wind speeds.  It will take about 30 mp/s for the turbine to stop functioning.  However, when it's anywhere around 15 mp/s it can be a cause for other concerns.

"Safety becomes an issue with the tower climbs and taking personnel up the tower to work on the turbine," said Plantier. 

TSTC offers a wind energy program at its Sweetwater campus.  It specifically trains and certifies students to properly handle high gusts and potentially dangerous situations.

"You can feel the sway of the towers pretty heavy as it is at fifteen meters per second.  Anything higher than that it gets pretty hard for somebody to deal with so we just don't take students up there at that point," said Plantier. 

They've already had to cancel trainings because of high wind gusts.                                                                                                    

"It's kind of our enemy when it comes to that because especially we have so many students to climb and i like to get them up there multiple times during the course of the semester," said Plantier.   

They may have to stay indoors, but outside, the turbines will continue to thrive on their misfortune.
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