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Indiana Wind Farms: Wind Turbines

Indiana Wind Farms: This is One of Four Sections that Compose a Wind Turbine

Indiana Wind Farms: This is One of Four Sections that Compose a Wind Turbine

Wind farms in Indiana towns are here, there, and everywhere!

Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration but  there are a lot out wind turbines (particularly along I-65) and more popping up all the time.

Indiana Wind Farms

We get a lot of questions about Indiana wind farms because my husband was the wind farm whisperer. We live in a small town so everyone knows everything about everyone, don’t’cha know.

My husband was often the “go-to” guy when it came to problems or questions about wind turbines.

Since there is so much interest in Indiana wind farms, I interviewed my hubby, Jeremy Nunemaker, for the low-down on these giant green energy producers.

What is an Indiana Wind Turbine

Indiana wind turbines are giant monsters of steel. How big are Indiana wind turbines? Those you see around I-65 in Northwest Indiana are around 300 feet tall. Each blade of an Indiana wind turbine is 120+ feet and weighs 7 tons. Yes, that’s for each blade.

The wind turbine image to the top left may help you visualize the size of these. That is part of just one portion of the wind turbine and you can see how it dwarfs the lead truck! Many of these compose an Indiana wind farm.

A wind turbine is also tornado proof.

In 2010 and 2011, there weren’t very many elevators and certainly no heating or cooling systems inside. The only way up is to climb! There are such things as wind advisories and those with wind turbine jobs were not allowed in the field when the wind reached 30 meters per second. Some Indiana wind turbines do have elevators but not the sort of elevator you are imaging–think something more along the lines of shaky and the opposite of stable.

Green Energy in Indiana

Indiana Wind Turbine: Wind Farm Along I-65

Indiana Wind Turbine: Wind Farm Along I-65

You’ll hear people and companies boast that they are buying “green” power or energy however, they aren’t buying the literal power that is created by a wind turbine. What they buy is, for accounting purposes, the amount of energy produced by a wind turbine.

So, the power produced by a wind farm in Indiana can be purchased by a company or organization in Florida or California. The actual power used by a location is produced by a power plant local to that area. The energy is essentially purchased from the Indiana wind farm.

How a Wind Turbine Works

Driving through Indiana, wind turbines may seem like they are being powered by something other than wind. Nope. Each wind turbine moves solely due to the wind. The speed is controlled so that the power is uniform. The speed is actually controlled by several factors, one of which is the pitch of the blades.

Each Indiana wind turbine monitors the wind and adjusts itself accordingly. This is why you will see an entire farm of wind turbines moving at the same time.

A turbine can only adjust it’s rotation so many times before it has to unwind itself to prevent the wiring inside from winding too tightly. It can take 15 minutes for the Indiana wind turbine to make a full rotation.

Questions about Indiana Wind Farms?

Hopefully this sheds a little light on Indiana wind farms.

Have any questions or comments about Indiana wind turbines for my husband to answer? Leave ‘em below!

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

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About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the little Indiana owner, Host of a little Indiana segment state-wide on PBS and Publisher of the little Indiana Quarterly magazine. Sometimes, she even sleeps. You'll usually find Jessica gallivanting around Indiana towns (population 15,000 and less) with her husband, Jeremy, and two boys (ages 7 and 3) in tow in search of where to stay, play and eat in small towns across the state! Small towns: destinations, not drive-thrus!

70 comments

  1. I drive by these almost every day for work and I was wondering why some will be going while others aren’t?

  2. Jessica Nunemaker

    Thanks! :) That’s quite a trip–we lived in SC when hubs was in the Navy.

  3. Thanks for the wind farm info. Was very interested while traveling to and from Wisconsin from South Carolina!!!!

  4. i drove from louisville to chicago this past wednesday and i saw the wind turbines for the first time…all of them seemed to be turning….but on the way home the next day (thursday) most of them weren’t turning…and there was more wind on thursday…is there a reason why any of these would not be turning on a windy day?…just curious..also,someone told me that T.Boone Pickens owned all or most of them?…i’d also like to know how much one costs?…

  5. My step dad is interested in putting a wind turbine on his farm in Northern Indiana. Do you have any recommendations for companies to talk to? Any suggestions relative to does and don’ts when purchasing, installing, and running wind turbine? Are any electric companies sponsoring private installations? Anything else you’d recommend?

    THANKS!!

  6. Hello Jessica, we travel on I 65 back and forth from Columbus Ohio to Chicago and are always in awe of the wind farms we see. In our recent travels we noticed that a lot of them weren’t running to the left of the highway (going toward Chicago, away from Indianapolis). My husband and I started a dialog about them and after googling them, I came across your article. Very informative! Question: with rh running off the wind, why would some be running and the others not? Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jessica Nunemaker

    @Dorothy Power runs through the national electric grid.

  8. Jessica Nunemaker

    @Eric — There are close to 1,000 wind turbines if you include the other farms within site of I-65. They are called wind farms. These are not windmills.

  9. How does the power transmit to consumers?

  10. How many are there here off of I 65 and how much does 1 cost??? I believe its call windmill fields.

  11. Jessica Nunemaker

    Email sent! :)

  12. Nancy Satterblom

    Trying to find an expert on wind turbines to speak with my students. I am a middle school teacher in Lowell, Indiana and we are planning a project on Alternative Energy systems. We would love to know more about wind turbines because we would love to have one in our backyard – we have plenty of room where our school is built. Any information you can share would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Wondered what is cost of a Wind Turbine and also if they know how long before they re-coop the investment. How long does it take to build one. Are there going to be any more added to the Turbine farm …

    Thanks

  14. Jessica Nunemaker

    Let me get back to you on some of this but, yes, there is actually video of them withstanding a tornado! Pretty incredible stuff.

    I do know that they use giant cranes to put them together. They also have folks who do maintenance on them.

  15. Hi,
    Just saw the turbines for the 1st time last week passing through Indiana. Seeing them from afar and getting closer to the huge things made it feel almost like an “alien like” atmosphere! They are awesome! Being a mechanic, wonder how they assembled them (cranes? helicopters?), what maintenance is involved, and are there any bearings that have to be maintained? Did any blades ever fall off? And can withstand a tornado? Wow, that seems impossible. How were they tested to do that? They are beautiful, though!

  16. Thank you for the info. We are from Anderson, Indiana and spent the holiday weekend at Jellystone in Portage, IN and Indiana Dunes/beach. We traveled north on 65 to get to our destination. The dads told the kids that little midgets work inside of the windmills. Of course, they didn’t believe them. On our way home I decided to google some answers for them and came across your site. Thank you! Thank you! I feel like we had a history lesson during our road trip and the 4 kids, ages 5-9, enjoyed learning the facts! :) I love being a Hoosier!

  17. Jessica Nunemaker

    Thanks Ross! I appreciate the kind comment. Happy travels!

  18. Jessica, thank you for your wonderful article! We were passing by the I-65 wind turbines (from ohio to chicago and back) and I had so many questions about them so I googled them and found your post! It answered all of my questions! Fascinating stuff.

  19. How do they get all the red lights to blink at one time? What direction do they usually face and can they rotate on their axis 360 degrees?

  20. Jessica Nunemaker

    Those are FAA lights. They are required by the FAA in order to prevent aircraft from hitting the wind turbines.

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