Wind Power

Three wind turbines turning their massive blades in the wind near Judith Gap, Montana.


The Judith Gap Wind Farm sits on both sides of Highway 191 between Harlowton and Judith Gap, Montana and includes more than 90 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. Turbines like these start spinning when the wind gets above six miles per hour (MPH), and power production begins when winds reach eight MPH. Because of inconsistencies in the way wind blows (especially here in Montana), wind turbines generally operate at 30% of their capacity. These turbines can generate power up to 33.5 MPH and in high winds exceeding 56 MPH (or more) they will shut down altogether.


Each blade is 126 feet long, and each tower is 262 feet high. In all, each tower weighs approximately 108,000 lbs. requiring a foundations that is 48 feet wide and seven feet deep. Expected annual output is 450,000,000 KW hours. All power is sold to Northwestern Energy under long-term contract.


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Taken on December 21, 2010