Wind Energy

NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s leading operator of wind energy.

 

INDUSTRY LEADER

NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s largest operator of clean, renewable wind energy. Over the last decade, our wind energy capacity has nearly tripled. We have the largest market share of North American wind capacity.

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BENEFITS

Clean, Reliable and Affordable

With 120 wind farms in operation, wind energy is affordable, good for our environment and our economy. Wind energy provides millions in tax dollars and landowner payments. It also creates jobs and boosts local economies.

 

WIND FARMS

From Start to Finish

Once approved for construction, wind farms can be built quickly in comparison to other types of power-generating facilities. Throughout the process, we are respectful of the environment and our neighbors. We work with the community to achieve the best results for all involved.

 

Siting and Development

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Siting a wind farm can be challenging. We must find the right combination of wind conditions, power transmission lines and land to accommodate the wind farm.

NextEra Energy Resources pursues potential wind farms in areas where the wind blows steadily. The ideal average wind speed is approximately 25 to 35 miles per hour.

Wind facilities must also be near high-voltage transmission lines that can carry power over long distances. These transmission lines must have the capacity to handle the additional generation.

Construction

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Our wind farms can usually be built in six to nine months. Steps include:

  • Build access roads to bring in construction equipment;
  • Install underground electric cables beside the access roads;
  • Pour wind turbine foundations;
  • Construct a substation, and an operations and maintenance building;
  • Bring in turbine equipment;
  • Use cranes to erect the turbines; and
  • Test and commission the completed turbines.

Ready for Operations

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Once constructed and tested, the wind turbines can be commissioned, meaning they are ready for operation. We have experienced operations and maintenance managers at all our sites. Our local staff is supported by centralized maintenance and environmental staff. Our sites also have remote support from an around-the-clock Renewable Operations Control Center.

Red Mesa Wind Energy Center - Cibola County, NM

How Wind Energy Works

Wind turbines capture the wind's energy with two or three propeller-like blades that are mounted on a rotor, to generate electricity. The turbines sit high atop towers, taking advantage of the stronger and less turbulent wind at 100 feet (30 meters) or more above ground. A blade acts much like an airplane wing:

  1. When the wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade.
  2. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. This is called lift.
  3. The force of the lift is actually much stronger than the wind's force against the front side of the blade, which is called drag.
  4. The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller, and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.