Intrepid Wind Farm Tour
Hosted by MidAmerican Energy
November 7, 2005
On Monday, November 7, 2005, MidAmerican Energy hosted a tour of its Intrepid wind farm in Sac County for environmentalists. Visitors watched a video presentation and toured several of the 175 wind turbines currently operating at the site. Each turbine generates 1.5 megawatts of electricity. The 113-foot blades are vulnerable to lightning strikes and cost approximately $250,000 each to replace.
Included on this page are some of the photographs taken at the wind farm outside Schaller.
The turbines stretch 215 feet into the air. The shot below was taken
at the base of a turbine, looking up.
Inside the tower, a computer monitors and controls the turbine's operation. If winds top 50 miles per hour, brakes stop the rotor from turning. Workers can climb to the top of the tower to make repairs.
The blades attach to a nacelle, the housing that covers the controller, shafts, gearbox, generator, brakes and other components within the wind turbine. In the photo below, you can see where the rotor and blades attach on the right side of the nacelle. An anemometer (an instrument for measuring wind speed or air flow) and a wind vane (a device for measuring wind direction) sit atop the nacelle and are connected to the controller inside.
A rotor and blades assembly await placement on the tower. A yaw drive (the device that rotates the wind turbine to keep the rotor facing into the wind as wind direction changes) and a yaw motor (the motor that powers the yaw drive) are found inside the nacelle.
This photograph demonstrates the enormity of the tower and the rotor/blade assembly. Notice the woman on the far left of the screen.
MidAmerican Energy currently has 175 turbines operating at the Intrepid wind farm with plans for constructing another 10, the maximum number of turbines that transmission lines can accommodate.
View MidAmerican Energy's video presentation here.
Photographs by Neila Seaman ©2005