Renewable Wind Plan
Make a choice you can feel good about by signing up for the Reliant Secure Advantage® 12 100% Wind plan. With this plan, you can enjoy a low price on electricity and know you're supporting a clean and renewable energy source.1
What you get
By signing up for the Reliant Secure Advantage® 12 100% Wind plan, you’ll:
- Get the security of a fixed-price electricity plan for 12 months
- Help the environment by supporting wind-generated power — a clean and renewable energy source
- Gain access to information and tools that put you in control of your electricity budget — not to mention 24/7 service and support available by phone or online
Why choose wind power
When you sign up for a wind power plan, you're showing your support for alternative power. But why is wind power a viable alternative to traditional coal or natural gas power? What makes wind-generated electricity a smart option?
- Wind is a clean fuel source — Wind turbines do not produce emissions like coal or natural gas power plants. Although one can argue that creating the wind turbines themselves involves some fossil fuel emissions, the turbines create no pollution once they are in service, making them a far more atmosphere-friendly solution than traditional power sources.2
- The supply is endless — Wind power will be available as long as breezes blow where we can build wind turbines, making it a highly sustainable fuel source.
- Rural economies can benefit — The owners of wind power plants need land to build on. Farmers and ranchers can lease portions of their land to wind power plant owners and receive rent payments. Wind turbines typically take up only a fraction of the available farmland, so the landowner can continue to farm and ranch at the same capacity as before but now earn an additional income.3
- Wind costs less to produce than other forms of renewable power — Compared to other renewable energy technologies, wind power is one of the lowest-priced options. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power costs between four and six cents per kilowatt-hour to produce, depending on several other factors.
How wind power is generated
Our customers are often curious about how electricity is generated from wind. Although it would be impossible to address the particulars of how the electricity you purchase from Reliant is generated, the following information about wind power generation from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources gives you a general idea of how wind can be converted into usable electricity.
Wind turbines, which typically look like giant fans or windmills, and the mechanisms inside them are today's primary means of turning wind into electricity. The technology goes back centuries, to windmills used to pump water or mill grain. Wind turbines can be built on land or in large bodies of water. The amount of land required to build a wind farm can be substantial. Because of the need for more land for wind farms and to avoid encroaching on land used for other purposes, offshore wind installations have increased, but wind farms built on land are still more common.4
This is probably obvious, but larger turbines (with longer blades) generate more energy. Large, utility-scale turbines (the kind you see grouped together in wind farms) generate anywhere from 100 kilowatts to several megawatts of power. Large wind farms are usually connected to a vast transmission and distribution system (the power grid). However, there are smaller turbines that generate less than 100 kilowatts and may or may not be connected to the power grid. These turbines are typically used for smaller-scale, on-site energy generation. Single-family homes might have a small turbine/windmill to generate all or part of the energy they need. Smaller turbines can be used for water pumping or as part of a hybrid system to power generators or batteries in locations where the power grid is not available.5
Wind turbines generate energy when the wind turns their giant propeller-like blades, shaped to capture maximum energy. Winds are slower closer to the ground, so the turbine blades are typically mounted on a tower 100 feet or more above ground, where they can take advantage of faster wind speeds. A weather vane on top of the turbine connects to a computer that turns the blades toward the direction of the wind.
The blades of a typical wind turbine turn at an average rate of about 18 revolutions per minute (rpm) — not enough to create much energy. To increase the rpm, the blades are connected to a rotor inside the turbine, which turns a series of gears and ups the revolutions to about 1,800 per minute. A generator then uses the motion of the fast-spinning rotor to create electricity.
The electricity generated by the turbine is sent through transmission lines to the power grid. Once in the power grid, larger transmission lines take the electricity to distribution lines in the areas where the power will be used.
Even small wind farms can generate enough electricity to power 9,000 homes, and large wind farms can generate much more. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources estimates that a 1 megawatt turbine on land can power 225-300 homes, and a 1 megawatt turbine in an offshore location, where the wind blows more forcefully, can power more than 400 homes.6
How to make a difference
Scientists and engineers are developing and growing wind power technology every day. Signing up for a wind power plan signals your support for alternative energy. When you sign up for the Reliant Secure Advantage® 12 100% Wind plan, you know you are part of a community committed to renewable power. Sign up today.