Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm FAQs

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1. How tall is each turbine?

Each wind turbine is 262 feet high and the tower has a diameter of 14 feet. The blades of the wind turbines are 120 feet long so that the total height from the ground to the tip of the blade is more than 380 feet, approximately the height of a 32-story building.

2. How fast do the blades turn?
Depending on wind conditions, the blades turn at rates between 10 and 20 revolutions per minute. Considering the length of the blades with average wind speeds of 13 to 15 mph, the tips are traveling at 120 mph. At maximum wind speeds, the blade tips are spinning at an estimated 180 mph.

3. Why do some of the turbines turn and others do not?
Wind velocity can vary up to five miles per hour across the site.

4. How much do they cost?
A private developer built the wind farm for a total project cost of $12.5 million. The ACUA will purchase electricity from the developer at a fixed rate of $.0795 per kilowatt hour for 20 years.

5. Can there be more than five?
Due to the potential of blocking the wind, the site can only accommodate the five wind turbines.

6. Why are there red lights on the top of the turbines?
The Federal Aviation Administration requires red navigation lights on top of each wind turbine as a warning for aircraft in the area

7. Could you use lights to make them visible at night
Lights attract insects and insects attract birds, therefore the wind turbines cannot be lit.

8. How much energy do they generate?
When the wind is blowing more than 12 miles per hour, each wind turbine can produce 1.5 megawatts of electricity. At reduced wind speeds, electricity production decreases. When wind speed exceeds 45 miles per hour, the turbines shut down to protect the machinery inside. It is estimated that the five wind turbines will produce enough power during the year to provide energy for 2,500 homes.

9. Who owns the wind farm?
The wind farm is owned by Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC.

10. Do they make noise?
The wind turbines are practically silent; however, on very humid days a slight “whoosh” can be heard.

11. Can someone visit?
Yes! Click here for more information about scheduling a tour.

12. How much electricity do the turbines generate for the ACUA?
The ACUA facility requires approximately 2.5 megawatts of power each day. When wind speeds are above 12 miles per hour, all of the electricity required to run the plant can be generated by two of the five wind turbines. The remaining power is sold to the main power grid. The wind farm supplies approximately 60 percent of the electricity required by the plant on a annual basis.

13. How does it work?
A weather station located on top of each of the wind turbines turns the nacelle, the small building at the top of the tower, facing into the wind. The turbine’s three blades pitch to maximize the speed at which the turbine spins. A shaft, attached to the hub of the blades, turns a gear box that is attached to a generator that processes the electricity. The electricity is then transported to the ground by wires, which are then attached to the electrical grid at the plant. Electricity not used by the ACUA runs backwards through the electric meter into the main power grid.

14. Can I buy electricity?
Private and commercial electricity users can purchase wind generated power through their local electric company through the New Jersey CleanPower Choice Program. For more information on this New Jersey Board of Public Utilities program please click here.

15. How much does it cost?
The cost of wind generated power generally costs a little more than electricity generated by fossil fuel plant; however, wind energy is both a clean and renewable source that does not contribute to climate change.

16. How much do wind turbines weigh?
In the GE 1.5-megawatt model, the nacelle alone weighs more than 56 tons, the blade assembly weighs more than 36 tons, and the tower itself weighs about 71 tons - a total weight of 164 tons.  Source. 

17. Don't wind turbines kill lots of birds?
A three-year study by NJ Audubon of our Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in its first three years of operation (required by NJDEP and NJBPU), which included regular grid walks and use of an onsite radar, found 30 bird fatalities due to wind turbines in three years. That works out to two birds, per turbine , per year. Thousands of birds are onsite all the time. The study found that many other onsite bird fatalities were caused by raccoons, feral cats, wires and trucks. More on this subject.

#DidYouKnow a #wind turbine works like the opposite of a fan? Instead of using electricity to make wind, wind turbines...

Posted by U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wind Energy 101 from the U.S. Dept. of Energy

Click here for more information on wind from the U.S. Deptartment of Energy.

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