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Green Power Switch: Wind Power

The wind might be invisible, but in places where it blows steadily and strongly it can be a powerful source of energy. With a little help from TVA, the force that helps a sailboat glide across the lake or a kite soar high in the sky can also generate enough electric power to light your home and keep your TV, computer, and other appliances running.

Here’s how wind power works

photo of wind turbinesFirst TVA sets up a wind machine. It’s basically a futuristic looking windmill. Three 135-foot-long rotor blades are attached to a turbine mounted at the top of a tower that’s more than 250 feet tall. The turbine is connected to an efficient electric generator.

Then TVA puts several of these wind machines on a site that is known for its windy conditions. Although the machines aren’t living things, when several of them are “planted” together in the same place the area is called a “wind farm” or “wind park.” Why? Because they are growing energy that can be “harvested” by TVA!

The result? No pollution. No mess. Just clean, green power from the wind.

Down on the wind farm

TVA’s Buffalo Mountain Wind Park near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the first commercial-scale use of wind power to generate electricity in the southeastern United States. There are 18 wind-powered generators on the two-acre site.

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