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High winds impact electricity production

By Christina Jensen
Published On: Mar 17 2014 08:00:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 17 2014 09:57:12 PM CDT

Monday's wild winds shut down parts of Interstate 15, swayed cars and toppled signs. But how do storms affect wind turbines?

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Monday's wild winds shut down parts of Interstate 15, swayed cars and toppled signs. The wind caused two semi trucks to topple in Twin Falls. Another semi in Bannock County landed on its right side. The winds also caused wind turbines to shut down.

 
Truck driver Wesley Port said he is used to driving in dangerous conditions.

"Sometimes you just have to stop. I have had to stop before in Wyoming, but if you're empty you have to be careful because if the wind goes above 60 miles an hour you could flip," he said.     
 

The amount of electricity produced is also affected by high winds. You may have noticed some wind turbines spinning in eastern Idaho, while others sit still.

"We knew this was coming so Idaho Power and Pacific Core knew they were going to have some shut downs today and they planned to supplement that power from another source," said Randy Gardner, CEO of Wind Rivers.

Gardner was also involved in the development of the wind farms that sit east of Idaho Falls.

"You will see some of them spinning because they're designed for a little high wind band and you'll see some of them stop because they're designed for a little lower wind band," he said.

Gardner also said wind turbines automatically shut themselves down. They are later restarted manually.

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