The Tuolumne Wind Project began commercial operation on May 28, 2009 and added a significant amount of renewable energy to the District’s portfolio, taking it to the 28 percent qualified renewable energy eight years ahead of the Board of Director’s adopted goal of 20 percent by 2017.
The project consists of a total of 62 turbines;
- 42 Siemens Model SWT 2.3 MW – capable of generating 2.3 megawatts of electricity each
- 20 REPower MM93 2.0 MW – capable of generation 2 megawatts of electricity each
This makes the total generating capacity of the Tuolumne Wind Project 136.6 megawatts. That is enough green energy to power approximately 44,000 households each year.
The towers are over 262 feet high.
The nacelle where the generator is housed.
The diameter of each rotor is over 270 feet.
This is the first wind facility owned by TID. It plays an important role in providing clean renewable energy that diversifies and complements our extensive energy portfolio. Currently, TID’s ratepayers enjoy a substantial share of the clean and renewable Don Pedro large hydro project and TID’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which includes small hydro, solar, geothermal, and wind.
How Does a Wind Turbine Work?
A wind turbine is a type of wind energy system that transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy that can be harnessed for practical use. Horizontal-axis (propeller style) turbines are the most common.
While the wind turbines of the past were relatively simple, today’s wind turbines are complex machines that monitor and adjust for optimal generating efficiency and for safety and environmental purposes.
Power generated by the turbines is transferred to a transformer which raises the voltage to that of the electrical collection system.
The power is sent via transmission lines into the grid to be moved where it's needed.
Transformers step the voltage down to a level that homes and businesses can use and send it out through distribution lines to our customers.