How do they get wind powered electricity to city/power grid?

Question by AC: How do they get wind powered electricity to city/power grid?
I am curious of how they get the electricity produced by a windmill or even solar panel to a city or a city’s power grid or city’s electric plant. I know obviously they have to send it via wires underground but does anyone have more info on the process like installation, how the electric system (how they send electricity to a grid with out over loading it.

Best answer:

Answer by Patrick S
Power generated at low voltages cannot travel long distances because of losses in the resistance of the wires they travel on. If you look at a wind turbine, at the base of the tower you will see a transformer. This transformer increases the voltage to thousands of volts. The electricity can now travel down the wires further without losses. However, there still is a limit as to how far it can travel. Near the wind turbine farm, you will see a sub-station where again transformers jack the voltage from thousands of volts to tens of thousands of volts. Now this power is inserted on the grid. The power can now travel to where it is needed. The process is reversed where the power is needed, sub stations to transformers to your service panel in your house.

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  1. rice_dog says:


    Wind Energy FAQ
    What do I need to know to purchase a residential wind turbine?
    Will my utility allow me to hook up a wind generator?

    Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small (less than 80 MW) wind energy systems. A wind turbine manufacturer should be able to help arrange the required utility company approvals.

    See State-by-State small wind information http://www.awea.org/smallwind for lists of interconnection requirements for many U.S. states.

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