Facts and Figures - Technical

  • How does a wind turbine make electricity? The wind turns the blades, which spin a gear shaft in the nacelle at the top of a turbine. The shaft is connected to an electric generator and makes it turn to produce electricity. The electricity is then taken away through a cable in the mast and underground cables to the substation, where it is fed into the electricity transmission grid. For an animated image of how a turbine works, click here.
  • A wind turbine starts operating at wind speeds from 4-5 metres per second (wind force 3). When the wind speed reaches 25 m/s (wind force 10), the turbine will shut down to avoid damage.
  • A modern wind turbine produces electricity 70-85% of the time. Outputs are dependent on wind speed. Typically, it will generate enough to meet the electricity demands of more than a thousand homes over the course of a year.

Source: BWEA