Elm Road Generating Station

Byron Wind Turbines

In the mid-1990s, We Energies wanted to meet growing customer demand for renewable energy generated from sources such as the sun, wind, water and plant materials. To accomplish this, the Energy for Tomorrow® renewable energy program was launched in June of 1996.


Research showed that the Niagara Escarpment, a high ridge running through eastern Wisconsin, would be a favorable location for wind turbines. At a site near Byron, the average wind speeds were approximately 14 mph, the land was privately owned and accessible, power lines were nearby, and the location was away from the migratory routes of many birds.

Type of plant

Wind turbine

Initial cost

$1.6 million


2 turbines

Year in service


Net generating capacity

660 kilowatts each

Turbine manufacturer

Vestas Wind Systems

Turbine design

Vestas V47 is a horizontal axis, pitch-regulated, upwind turbine.

Total weight

Tower and turbine: 104 tons

Rotor design

Three blades constructed of a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy.

Rotor diameter

47 meters (154 feet)

Rotor speed

28.5 rpm


Asynchronous four-pole generator with wound rotor. Rotor current controller and resistors allow for variable slip generator operation with up to 10 percent rpm variation from nominal speed.

Generator nominal voltage

690 volts

Integrated lightning protection

Protection system includes lightning receptors and conductors in the rotor blades, lightning arrestors, deep earth grounding and shielding.

Control system

A microprocessor controls all turbine functions.

Tower dimensions

Hub height: 215 feet
Weight: 147,000 pounds
Base diameter: 12.1 feet
Rated power output: 660 kW @ 34 mph

Cut-in wind speed

9 mph

Cut-out wind speed

56 mph

Extreme gust wind speed

134 mph

Updated: December 2012