Wind farms

How wind energy works

Wind can be used to generate electricity. The energy in the wind spins the turbine blades. They in turn spin a shaft connected to a generator and this makes electricity.

The amount of electricity made by a wind turbine generator depends on how hard the wind is blowing. In storms, wind turbines are stopped for safety.

A wind turbine looks like a huge fan, but…

  • A wind turbine works the opposite way to a fan.
  • Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.
  • The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.
  • Large turbines range in size from 50 to 5000 kilowatts.
  • Single small turbines, below 50 kilowatts, are used for individual homes, telecommunications dishes and water pumps.

New Zealand has one of the most consistent wind energy resources in the world. Our wind farms are significantly more productive than international averages. Our wind farms generate enough electricity to power around 152,000 homes each year.