Wind energy is taking off in major ways – with Minnesota, North Dakota, and New Mexico becoming the latest states to enter the development stages for massive wind farms.
A Minneapolis-based energy conglomerate, Xcel Energy, is spearheading projects in Minnesota and North Dakota, which will increase the wind power output of the entire Upper Midwest United States by more than 33%. Xcel Energy claims their new projects should save consumers $180 million over 20 years, as compared to standard electrical power plants. The two new wind farms will also provide an additional 600 mw of electricity, which is enough to service 180,000 households.
In New Mexico, the State Land Office began accepting bids to construct “El Cabo,” a colossal 33,600 acre site for a 1,000+ mw wind farm. When finished, El Cabo will produce more megawatts of wind energy alone than the entire state’s combined wind capacity. El Cabo would also reduce New Mexico’s CO2 emissions by a startling 2.6 million tons annually.
With the world looking to wind energy, it becomes even more obvious that monitoring, troubleshooting, and connecting these wind farms to the larger energy grid is of critical importance.
General Electric has developed a new product to address such issues, dubbing it the “brilliant” turbine, which runs at the 2.5 mw form factor. Featuring a range of detailed remote sensors, communicators, forecast monitors, and analytic software –the turbine is 20% more efficient than the industry standard. "The pace of innovation is stunning," said Ralf Sigrist, president and CEO of Nordex USA. "These innovations are helping project developers and moving wind into a highly mature and highly competitive environment."
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