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USAF space command increases wind generation

The US Air Force Space Command plans to increase its wind generation on a remote island in the south Atlantic by as much as 1.5 MW. The military intends to release a competitive bid for turbines by Christmas and have the installation complete soon afterwards. The Air Force tracks space launches out of its Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, from Ascension Island, an archipelago owned by Britain 500 miles south of the equator. USAF installed four NEG Micon 250 KW turbines on the island in October 1995 to reduce use of expensive diesel fuel, according to Craig Miller of the Air Force Space Command. Due to height restrictions, the turbines were equipped with smaller blades, which downgraded them to a capacity of 225 kW each. The same restrictions will apply to all new turbines. Since 1995 the constant wind speeds have resulted in a capacity factor of 40-45%, says Miller. The turbines provide about 17% of the facility's power. The Air Force plans to channel excess power from the turbines to a desalination plant.

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