Working in partnership with its member communities, AMP developed Ohio’s first utility-scale wind farm in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The American Municipal Power Wind Farm has a generating capacity of 7.2 MW, consisting of four 1.8-MW turbines. The city of Bowling Green is the largest recipient of generated power, accounting for 3.6 MW, half of the project’s total capacity.
AMP worked closely with the city of Bowling Green on the development of the wind farm. Bowling Green performed the original wind study that demonstrated the feasibility of the project.
Upon completion of two 1.8-MW units in November 2003, additional interest from project participants prompted the construction of two additional units in 2004, bringing the installation to its current total of four units. The turbines themselves rest atop 257-foot towers erected by Vestas American Wind Technology. With blades that extend 132 feet from the turbine casing, each unit measures nearly 400 feet tall when the blades rotate to their highest point.
AMP installed an information kiosk at the wind farm site to serve as an educational tool, providing information on the history of the project as well as further details on how the wind turbines operate.
The wind turbines are designed to run when wind speeds range between nine and 56 miles per hour and are able to withstand wind speeds of up to 133 mph. Optimal output is achieved by the turbines during wind speeds of 31.3 mph, a speed that will rotate the blades on each turbine 16.8 times per minute.
Sensors on each unit constantly monitor wind speed and aid in determining whether the units should be engaged. The high sensitivity of these sensors ensures that the turbines operate safely and maximize output by taking full advantage during periods when wind speeds are favorable. For nearly all wind farm installations, winter months provide the most favorable wind conditions and produce the greatest monthly yields.
Wind energy is a form of solar energy, created by circulation patterns in the Earth’s atmosphere that are driven by heat from the sun. Wind energy actually works in very similar fashion to “run-of-the-river” hydroelectric stations that make use of the flowing water in a river or stream. In the case of wind, the “river” is an invisible one made of air, but the principle is the same. As the air flows past the rotor of a wind turbine (a rotor that looks a lot like an airplane propeller), the rotor spins and drives the shaft of an electric generator to produce electricity.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, today, utility-scale wind turbines worldwide total over 30,000 megawatts of generating capacity.
For more information about the AMP Wind Farm, please call Tim McNay, director of generation operations, at 614/540-1111 or send e-mail to email@example.com.