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Wind turbine prototypes break ground in Channing


Posted by: tdt -

By JILL BEMPONG

The Barber Ranch in Channing has been raising Herefords for more than 100 years.  Now it will also be known for harvesting something that West Texas has in abundance – wind.  On Tuesday, June 7, Suzlon, an international conglomerate that has installed more than 8,000 wind turbines around the world, broke ground on the site where two prototype S9X wind turbines will be built.
The S9X turbines –  the first of their kind to be built in North America – are designed for low to moderate wind speeds (15 -30 MPH). The panhandle winds that blow consistently are “perfect for the newly designed turbines,” explained Suzlon project manager Tom Vincent.  Construction of the turbines will begin with the arrival of the components in August, with completion slated for September 1st.  
The hallmark of this new turbine design is the variable speed technology, which allows the turbines to function efficiently in low and medium wind speeds. Additionally, the S9X has two models, the S95 and S97 which use increased rotor diameters to sweep a larger area and increase the wind yield.  Another difference in these models is that the hub height towers can be 80, 90 or 100 meters which provides more options to best meet the energy production at different sites. Each turbine produces 2.1 Mega Watts of energy which translates into enough energy to power approximately 1400 American homes of  “average” size. There is the possibility of producing up to 8.4 MW from the Barber’s property.

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