Wind Week: How do wind turbines create power for New Mexico?
August 14, 2019 06:33 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As you peer across the eastern New Mexico horizon, wind turbines appear quite small – from a great distance.
But up close, they eclipse New Mexico's tallest building, the 22-story Albuquerque Plaza Office Tower – more than 350 feet tall.
“These things are 400 to 500 feet tall, 26 stories with a ladder straight up,” said Johnny Casana with U.S. Political & Regulatory Affairs.
Industry expert Casana explains that even one of the massive blades which spins at the top is longer than most standard flatbed trailers.
“And the blades on these things – they're larger than an airplane, they're humongous,” said Casana.
Attached at the top of the tower is the housing which contains energy generating gearboxes – called the nacelle.
“Inside the nacelle, are giant gear boxes and as they turn, it's the exact same electricity that would be turned by a steam engine in a coal plant or a nuclear plant or a hydro facility,” said Casana.
That energy is transported to the base of the tower and connects to a grid.
“All of the turbines are connected and switched to the very high voltage that plugs into the grid and from that point, the high voltage grid takes it to the urban centers and the industry and the rural areas that are using the electricity,” said Casana.
As of now, New Mexico generates more than 1,700 megawatts of wind electricity, with construction of new wind turbines every day.
Updated: August 14, 2019 06:33 PM
Created: August 14, 2019 04:15 PM
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