Technically, windmills do not create electricity, but wind turbines do. Windmills have been in use for about 1,200 years. They use the wind’s energy to do mechanical work, such as milling grain or pumping water. Wind turbines operate differently than windmills. Rather than using the wind’s energy for mechanical work, they use the power of the wind to spin a turbine generator and produce electricity. As the wind blows, it turns the blades of the turbine, which spins a magnet near a coil of copper wire. The spinning magnet causes the electrons in the coil of wire to move. This generates electricity, which is sent through power lines to where it is needed.