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Wind capacity, Wake efficiency

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Sturm College of Law


The United States loves wind power. Since 2004 alone, U.S. wind capacity has multiplied almost ten times — from about 6.7 gigawatts in 2004 to over 65.9 gigawatts by 2014. This growth in generation potential has been accompanied by a growth in the size of the turbines that deliver that power — from approximately 56 feet in the 1980s to over 300 feet in 2015. As the turbines and meterological or met towers push up into non-surface atmospheric weather layers and navigable airspace over 200 feet, new wake efficiency and competing legal concerns arise.

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