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  • Alexandria, Roman Egypt (Present Day Egypt)
    20th Century

    The first recording of wind machine

    Alexandria, Roman Egypt (Present Day Egypt)
    20th Century

    The windwheel of Hero of Alexandria (10 AD – 70 AD) marks one of the first recorded instances of wind powering a machine in history.




  • Sistan, Persia (Present Day Iran)
    7th Century

    The first known wind power plants

    Sistan, Persia (Present Day Iran)
    7th Century

    The first known practical wind power plants were built in Sistan, an Eastern province of Persia (now Iran), from the 7th century. These "Panemone" were vertical axle windmills, which had long vertical drive shafts with rectangular blades. Made of six to twelve sails covered in reed matting or cloth material, these windmills were used to grind grain or draw up water, and were used in the gristmilling and sugarcane industries.




  • Europe
    12th Century

    Wind power

    Europe
    12th Century

    Wind power first appeared in Europe during the Middle Ages. The first historical records of their use in England date to the 11th or 12th centuries, there are reports of German crusaders taking their windmill-making skills to Syria around 1190.




  • Netherlands
    14th Century

    Dutch windmills

    Netherlands
    14th Century

    By the 14th century, Dutch windmills were in use to drain areas of the Rhine delta.




  • Croatia
    1595

    Fausto Veranzio description of wind turbines

    Croatia
    1595

    Advanced wind turbines were described by croinventor Fausto Veranzio. In his book Machinae Novae (1595) he described vertical axis wind turbines with curved or V-shaped blades.




  • Scotland, United Kingdom
    1887

    The first electricity-generating wind turbine

    Scotland, United Kingdom
    1887

    The first electricity-generating wind turbine was a battery charging machine installed in July 1887 by Scottish academic James Blyth to light his holiday home in Marykirk, Scotland.




  • Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 10, 1887
    09:30:00 PM

    The first automatically operated wind turbine

    Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 10, 1887

    Some months later American inventor Charles F. Brush was able to build the first automatically operated wind turbine after consulting local University professors and colleagues Jacob S. Gibbs and Brinsley Coleberd and successfully getting the blueprints peer-reviewed for electricity production in Cleveland, Ohio.


  • Denmark
    1900

    Large spread in Denmark

    Denmark
    1900

    In Denmark by 1900, there were about 2500 windmills for mechanical loads such as pumps and mills, producing an estimated combined peak power of about 30 MW. The largest machines were on 24-meter (79 ft) towers with four-bladed 23-meter (75 ft) diameter rotors.


  • U.S.
    1908

    The Spread in U.S.

    U.S.
    1908

    By 1908, there were 72 wind-driven electric generators operating in the United States from 5 kW to 25 kW. Around the time of World War I, American windmill makers were producing 100,000 farm windmills each year, mostly for water-pumping.


  • USSR (Present Day Russia)
    1931

    Modern horizontal-axis

    USSR (Present Day Russia)
    1931

    A forerunner of modern horizontal-axis wind generators was in service at Yalta, USSR in 1931. This was a 100 kW generator on a 30-meter (98 ft) tower, connected to the local 6.3 kV distribution system. It was reported to have an annual capacity factor of 32 percent, not much different from current wind machines.


  • Vermont, U.S.
    1941

    Vermont megawatt-class wind turbine

    Vermont, U.S.
    1941

    In the autumn of 1941, the first megawatt-class wind turbine was synchronized to a utility grid in Vermont. The Smith–Putnam wind turbine only ran for 1,100 hours before suffering a critical failure. The unit was not repaired, because of a shortage of materials during the war.


  • Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom
    1951

    Utility grid in the United Kingdom

    Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom
    1951

    The first utility grid-connected wind turbine to operate in the UK was built by John Brown & Company in 1951 in the Orkney Islands.


  • Denmark
    1980s

    Microturbines

    Denmark
    1980s

    In the early 1970s, however, anti-nuclear protests in Denmark spurred artisan mechanics to develop microturbines of 22 kW.


  • Worldwide
    1990s

    Incentives for larger turbines

    Worldwide
    1990s

    Organizing owners into associations and co-operatives lead to the lobbying of the government and utilities and provided incentives for larger turbines throughout the 1980s.


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