The great majority of wind turbines around the world belong to individuals or corporations who use them to generate electric power or to perform mechanical work. As such, wind turbines are primarily designed to be working devices. However, the large size and height above surroundings of modern industrial wind turbines, combined with their moving rotors, often makes them among the most conspicuous objects in their areas. A few localities have exploited the attention-getting nature of wind turbines by placing them on public display, either with visitor centers on their bases, or with viewing areas farther away. The wind turbines themselves are generally of conventional horizontal-axis, three-bladed design, and generate power to feed electrical grids, but they also serve the unconventional roles of technology demonstration, public relations, and education.
Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow has become the first wind energy project in Scotland to join the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA).
Ellensburg, Washington Puget Sound Energy's Renewable Energy Center at the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, has a 5,000 sq. ft. visitor center, which features numerous exhibits, a conference room, and guided tours to the base of a wind turbine. The center sits on a ridge at 3,500 ft. in the middle of the 149 turbine facility (Vestas V80 turbines). The Wild Horse Wind Farm is open to visitors from 9:00-5:30 daily, from April through November.