Do storms bring wind turbines to a standstill?

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Wind turbines are stopped during severe storms when the wind speed exceeds 25–30 metres per second for a sustained period. Such storms are rare in Finland.

How weather-dependent
is wind power?

Finland is a great place for generating wind power because wind power generation is highest in the cold winter months when energy consumption is also at its highest. There is a widespread misconception that there is no wind on very cold days, but this is not the case, particularly at the hub heights of modern wind turbines.

Wind turbines are stopped when the wind exceeds the durability and safety requirements for a long period, typically when the wind speed is above 25–30 m/s. In such cases, the blades are placed into a position where they are out of the wind, and the turbines are shut down. Statistically, it is very rare in Finland for the wind to blow at a speed that requires turbines to be stopped.

What are the best locations
for generating wind power?

The best wind speeds can be found on the tops of hills or on the coast, but technical development has enabled wind turbines to be built higher, making construction in inland areas more feasible.

How is the size of a wind
power unit determined?

In general, wind turbines are built as large as possible with the greatest possible efficiency, as this minimises the cost of generating energy. However, it is sometimes necessary to make compromises due to the environmental, permit processes or land ownership.

Wind turbine blades have also grown in length over the last five years, enabling significantly more energy to be obtained from the wind.

What stage is wind
power currently at?

Thanks to technological advancements, new wind power capacity is currently being built without public subsidies in an amount that will double the installed capacity in Finland. These investment decisions were made over the last 18 months. Wind power has become the cheapest way of generating electricity in the Nordic countries, which is a clear indication that the energy revolution is well underway.

This interview was conducted with Teemu Loikkanen, who is Regional Manager Finland and the Baltics at OX2 and a member of the Finnish Wind Power Association’s Board of Directors.

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