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Oldest Operating Wind Turbine In World Turning 40

On May 30, the world’s oldest operating wind turbine will turn 40 years old. Tvindkraft was built in Denmark at the Tvind school in Jutland. Danish wind enthusiasts will join there again soon to celebrate the turbine’s 40th birthday.


Celebrating the birthday of a wind turbine might seem like a “snoozer” to some, but Tvindkraft was a moment in energy history as well as something of a movement. “However, word spread in the Danish population — and also outside the country — about the mill project, and people flocked from near and far to give their opinion. Tvindkraft is an example of the place where people get together a vision, putting our heads together and put forces in, paving new roads.”

The 54-meter-high turbine has an iron and concrete tower and cone. Construction began in 1975 with teachers and volunteers, and a 1 MW turbine was installed and has been generating clean electricity for many years. Though perhaps at the time it was considered very difficult, it was a small group of people who got the job done. “How could they build what was then the world’s largest wind turbine—a machine that has operated for more than three decades and remains in service to this day—when Boeing, Westinghouse, General Electric, Hamilton Standard, Kaman, Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm, MAN and others had all failed, their turbines dismantled and sold for scrap?”

They could achieve it because their motivation was much greater than profiteering. The Tvindkraft success contains purpose, and autonomy, though one might say mastery was also present. “In Drive, Pink goes on to illustrate why the traditional carrots-and-sticks paradigm of extrinsic reward and punishment doesn’t work, pointing instead to his trifecta of intrinsic motivators: Autonomy, or the desire to be self-directed; Mastery, or the itch to keep improving at something that’s important to us; and Purpose, the sense that what we do produces something transcendent or serves something meaningful beyond than ourselves.”

It is very impressive that there has been a wind turbine generating clean electricity for decades. Would any readers care to try to figure out how much it has produced over the decades and comment below?

A wind turbine in the US was actually installed over 100 years ago, and was coupled with battery storage. These stories show us what true initiative and dedication are.

Image Credit: Anders Kjeldsen

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