Green Energy

Green Power Choice
Green Power Choice is a voluntary program offered to City of Chaska Electric Utility customers who want to make sure their power comes from renewable energy resources. The program currently offers options to buy power from hydroelectric and wind energy resources. Through Chaska's wholesale power supplier, the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA), blocks of energy can be purchased in 100 kWh increments to replace traditional power supply resources.

Wind Turbine in Operation
The Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) completed commissioning of the new wind turbine installed in the fall of 2009 near the Pioneer Ridge Middle School on Pioneer Trail.

Have you ever wondered how much output the turbine is producing? The MMPA website provides live turbine output information for Chaska’s turbine. The output of a wind turbine depends on the model of the turbine and available wind speed.

The Chaska turbine has a capacity of 160 kilowatts. The turbine’s power output can exceed 160 kilowatts for short periods of time. A wind turbine will generally produce more energy with higher wind speeds, if wind speeds are between the turbine’s cut-in and rated wind speeds.

Cut-In Speed
The cut-in speed is the minimum wind speed at which the wind turbine will generate power. The cut-in speed for Chaska’s turbine is 12 miles per hour or just over 5 meters per second.

Rated Speed
The turbine’s rated speed is the wind speed that results in the optimal power output for the turbine. When the wind speed exceeds the turbine’s rated speed, the turbine’s power output stops increasing and actually begins to decrease with higher wind speeds.

Cut-Out Speed
Wind turbines automatically shut down in very windy conditions, typically greater than 50 mph, to prevent turbine damage. The speed at which the turbine shuts down is called the cut-out speed.

The MMPA has a great website for exploring wind power, which we’d encourage you to visit.