How much of the time do wind turbines produce electricity?
The output of a wind turbine depends upon the wind regime where it is located. In New Zealand the average capacity factor is between 40% and 50%. This means that over the course of a year the turbine would produce 40% to 50% of the amount it could theoretically have produce if it was working flat out all through the year. The Tararua wind farm achieves a capacity factor of 46% which is a world's best performance and Tararua has been reported in international media on several occasions (the worlds average capacity factor is about 23%).

Turbines on average turn, and therefore produce electricity, for about 90% of the time. Again this depends upon location. For example the turbines at the Tararua wind farm turn 8500 out of every 8760 hours each year, a turning rate of 97%.

Notes:
www.eeca.govt.nz/uploadedDocuments/windsup_final.pdf
www.trustpower.co.nz/Content/documents/WindFarmNewsheet_final.pdf

 
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