Nobles is the second wind farm in Minnesota owned by Xcel Energy. The project spans a stretch of farm fields 7 miles long and 8 miles wide northwest of Worthington, Minn., and taps into some of the best wind resources in the nation.
The amount of electricity generated is determined by the wind speed. Production starts at 9 mph and reaches full output at 27 mph. Three variable pitch blades then enable the turbine to hold the power output constant in high winds until they shut down at 56 mph to protect the blades during severe storms. To endure the Minnesota winters, they are equipped with heaters in various locations to enable operation down to -22F. However, the blades are not heated and occasional ice buildup will cause a temporary reduction of power output.
Wind is a clean, renewable resource and Xcel Energy is ranked by the American Wind Energy Association as the nation’s No. 1 wind power provider.
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