June starts hurricane season, an unsettling time for some people living near our nation’s shorelines. For the next 6 months, communities will be on watch for severe storms and high winds that could potentially knock out power or damage homes and businesses.
Strong winds also put America’s growing fleet of wind turbines to the test. Wind power recently surpassed 82,000 megawatts of total installed capacity, making it the nation’s number one source of renewable generation capacity.
You would think that during hurricane season, more wind means more energy, right? It only works that way up to a point. Wind turbines need to protect themselves just as communities do during tropical storms and hurricanes. To understand what happens, let’s first discuss a wind turbine’s power curve.