The first use of wind power was to sail ships in the Nile some 5000 yr ago. Many civilizations used wind power for transportation and other purposes: The Europeans used it to grind grains and pump water in the 1700s and 1800s. The first windmill to generate electricity in the rural U.S. was installed in 1890. An experimental gridconnected turbine with as large a capacity as 2 MW was installed in 1979 on Howard Knob Mountain near Boone, NC, and a 3-MW turbine was installed in 1988 on Berger Hill
in Orkney, Scotland. Today, even larger wind turbines are routinely installed, commercially competing
with electric utilities in supplying economical, clean power in many parts of the world. The average turbine size of wind installations was 300 kW until the early 1990s.