Developing Wind Farms - Operation
A wind farm has an average life expectancy of 25 years. During that period, every turbine in the wind farm will generate 4.7 million units of electricity, sufficient to:
- meet the average annual electricity needs of 1,000 homes
- make 170 million cups of tea
- run a computer for 1,620 years
- prevent the emission of 4,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide - equivalent to taking 1,333 cars off the road
(These figures are based on a 1,8 MW turbine. Source: Renewable UK)
In the 25 years that the wind farm is there, a small amount of regular maintenance is required. At the end of its lifetime, decommissioning the wind farm is relatively easy. Wind farms leave no toxic or nuclear waste. The site can be completely restored to its original state, but usually the foundations are left underground. This way, disturbance to plants and animals on the site are minimised.