Frequently Asked Questions
Wind Energy Basics
This is a standard aspect of a wind farm’s functioning. Wind direction, speed and strength are constantly changing, thus causing some turbines to rotate while others around remain idle.
Wind developers can anticipate “when” and “how much” wind energy is available with a high degree of confidence using sophisticated monitoring and wind resource analysis tools, allowing it to be reliably integrated into the electric grid. Wind farms are a stable supply of electricity when the wind blows, and they may also supplant fossil-fueled power such as oil and gas.
The turbine may be at rest while the wind is calm. Utility-scale wind turbines, on the other hand, are rarely completely motionless at their heights – normally more than 200 feet above ground – on a site chosen expressly for its strong wind resources.
Yes, but it varies by area. Summer is the most windy season in California; fall and winter are the most windy seasons in the Midwest; and spring is the most windy season in Texas. Daily and seasonal fluctuations are unique to each wind farm. Each wind location has its own unique wind patterns, which are identified during the project’s early stages through wind studies.
Turbines located in places subject to extreme cold or heat are outfitted with arctic or tropical equipment. Nonetheless, for safety, turbines shut down automatically under persistent winds of 56 mph or gusts of around 100 mph.
Wind turbines typically require one to two preventative maintenance inspections each year, depending on a variety of circumstances. When a problem arises, we work with the manufacturer to determine the root cause of the problem and then, if needed, replace any faulty equipment.
Before the startup instruction is delivered, the sophisticated computer system within a turbine runs extensive self-diagnostic checks and troubleshoots issues. The turbine shuts down immediately if the computer identifies any faults it can’t fix.
Nope! In fact, The wind industry has grown rapidly and is now the largest source of renewable energy in the United States.. Today, technology allows wind projects to expand to new regions with lower wind speeds. The Yellow Cat Wind Project untaps new opportunities for Navarro County. It will provide a new, clean, and reliable energy source for Texas businesses and residents alike, serving as the affordable utility for everyone’s growing power needs. The wind farm is designed to integrate with existing ranches and farms and will be connected to the power grid, adding resiliency to the Texas energy system.
Prior to construction, we usually negotiate long-term contracts from one or more buyers for the output of a wind farm.
Wind turbine energy can be reliably integrated into the transmission system, causing no disruption to the grid and providing customers with clean, renewable energy as a source of power.
Wind energy is one of the safest forms of electricity, with various built-in safety precautions to protect not just the turbines, but also the landowners and communities around them. Setbacks are also put in place from roads, residences, and other structures to ensure that communities and landowners are a safe distance from the turbines.
Most lightning strikes do not affect the operations of a wind turbine due to the protection provided by a lightning protection system. The lightning protection system is designed to reduce the risk of lightning damage, however, if damage occurs from lightning, Vestas will work with the project operator to access any damage and make repairs as soon as possible.
It’s important to remember turbines only run when the wind is blowing, meaning as ground level winds increase in speed, the sound of the wind masks most of the turbine sound. Typically, while standing directly below a running wind turbine, two people are able to have a conversation at normal voice levels.
While the sound from the rotating blades could be audible, depending on various factors such as your specific distance from the turbine and unique weather conditions, they fall within a category known as “infrasound,” which is any sound below 20 Hz. This level of sound is generated by many common sources, such as by automobiles and even wind itself; it is far below any levels that would pose a health risk.
Yes, all energy producers in the United States – whether fossil fuel or renewable – receive some level of support from both federal and state governments to stimulate investment and keep up with America’s fast-growing power needs.
Dozens of peer-reviewed academic studies have found wind farms have no significant long-term impacts on property values. View our property values information to learn more.
No. When properly built and managed, wind farms are a safe and effective way of generating renewable energy. Visit our heatlh information to learn more.
Landowners & Communities
Very! For any project to be successful, we know the needs of the community must come first. We’re determined to listen to all perspectives, and we believe strongly in fostering long-term relationships with the people we serve, including but not limited to hosting community events, meeting with government officials and hearing from local economic development and environmental groups.
Wind farm locations are determined by a variety of factors, including the abundance of wind resources, the ability to transfer wind energy, market demand and land use compatibility with wind farms. We generally look for locations with interested landowner partners as well.
Please reach out! While we cannot promise we will assess all land presented to us, it never hurts to ask.
A wind turbine uses less than one acre of land, allowing landowners to continue farming and ranching as needed. In fact, you can farm right up to the base of a turbine!
Yes. There will be more traffic in the area during construction. Yellow Cat will take a year or less to complete, however, the use of heavy equipment will be limited to that time period. There will be no need for additional construction traffic once the wind farm is operational.
The construction timeline of any wind farm is dependent on its size, location and a variety of external factors. With that being said, six to nine months is a standard timeframe for constructing most wind energy projects.
A landowner can make more money per acre by hosting a wind turbine than by growing crops or raising livestock. A wind farm’s revenue can assist a landowner in diversifying their business. Landowners receive predictable, long-term incomes unaffected by commodity prices or weather. The conditions of a land agreement vary depending on a number of factors. Individual landowner income thus varies case-by-case, but as a matter of preserving landowner privacy and confidentiality, we do not provide public examples of landowner revenues; all agreements are directly negotiated between the wind project developer and the landowner.
Payment terms, the length of the easement, other uses of the property, the location and kind of access roads, additional support infrastructure and the state of the land after operations cease will all be included in the land agreement, as well as the landowner’s and wind project’s duties.
No. Landowners are not accountable for any accidents that may arise as a result of the equipment on their property. Our agreements with landowners protect them from any possible liability that may arise as a result of having wind turbines and other equipment on their property.
Unfortunately, we’re not able to base wind farm construction around traditional harvest and planting seasons. Farmers are, however, compensated for any loss of crops during the construction process.
The date construction begins will be determined mainly by the completion of easements and permitting, as well as by operational timing: the ability to have the wind farm up and running before peak wind seasons, which vary by region.
As long as other agreements do not interfere with the wind turbine equipment or operation, landowners are free to use their property as they best see fit. Our wind turbines are all that is covered by our option and easement.
Hunting leases are still available to landowners who host wind turbines.
The wind project developer will pay the taxes on equipment and infrastructure.
Our company sells power in bulk to electric providers. While we provide the electricity, your power bill – which you receive from your local electric provider – includes a variety of components and expenses in addition to electricity itself. Renewable energy may be all or part of the power source used by your local utility. Regardless, renewable energy is one of the most cost-effective kinds of energy generation available, and adding more inexpensive renewable energy to the regional grid lessens the need to produce additional and more costly fossil-fuel-generated power.
Wind energy can supplement agricultural and ranching activities, providing ranchers, farmers and entire communities with a new source of stable income.
Steelhead will conduct avian and bat population studies from 2021 to 2023 to ensure no local wildlife are harmed by Yellow Cat. Overall, wind is far less dangerous to wildlife and natural resources than are traditional energy sources it displaces. Learn more about how wind energy affects our environment.
Yes. Every project undergoes a thorough and careful environmental assessment. The goal is to always protect valuable natural resources and to minimize the environmental impact of wind turbines as much as possible.
No! There are no greenhouse gas emissions, water emissions or solid waste byproducts from wind turbines.
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