Wind Energy Center

If you're bummed that you missed us at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair, or if you saw something there you want to see again, no fear! Here is an online archive of the most important pieces of the Wind Energy Center this year.

First, How the Lights Stay On

A common misunderstanding about electricity is that most electricity power plants, such as coal fired or nuclear power plants, stay on 24/7. But, this is not true. Every power plant is shut down some of the time. It is by using the grid to draw from alternative power plants that grid operators manage the system to keep the power on and available all of the time. Integrating wind power into the system therefore does not present a significant problem. How the Lights Stay On is a short video produced by the Energy Foundation. It features the operators who run the electricity grid, the network of power plants and power lines that keep the lights on. It takes you inside the control center for the largest power system in the world and lets utility experts explain how the variability of wind and solar generation is managed using existing tools and techniques. 


Another set of displays at the fair tests your knowledge of wind energy. Below are the questions, and answers.


Along with the displays on small wind technology and how to find out if a small wind system is right for you is this display about net metering. The Minnesota legislature made changes to the net metering laws this year. We have many other resources for small wind on this website.


Check out our Facebook page for images of the buttons some of the fair goers made.

Other links:
Real-time wind map
Wind resource maps