Minnesota's Wind Resource at 80 Meters

Minnesota's Wind Resource at 80 Meters

Short Description: 
Wind resource maps can be used to estimate the wind resource in any region of the state. This map estimates areas that are well exposed to the wind, such as plains and hilltops. It is for a height of 80 meters—which is a height that community wind projects would commonly sit.
Interpretive Text: 

Wind resource maps can be used to estimate the wind resource in any region of the state. This map estimates areas that are well exposed to the wind, such as plains and hilltops. It is for a height of 80 meters—which is a height that community wind projects would commonly sit.

How were these wind readings determined? The wind resource was determined by looking at anemometer readings from across the state and then extrapolating those results to other areas based on ground cover. You’ll notice that the entire arrowhead region has low wind—if you think about that area, it is our boreal forest region, known for big trees. There are some wind turbines working there in clearings, but projects can only go forward on a case to case basis in those areas.

What if I wanted to install a turbine smaller than 80 meters high? A 30 meter wind map, which is more relevant for small wind turbines, is available in that Small Wind Poster Book and in the Where Does the Wind Blow display. The state also maintains an excellent web tool to give you an estimate of the wind resource at any coordinate: http://www.mngeoserver.admin.state.mn.us/WindSpeed/

How does Minnesota compare to other states in wind power? Minnesota is the national leader for Community Wind, where there is local ownership of the wind development. MN Community Wind amounts to at least 500 MW (About 1/6 of total installed capacity 2,986 MW). 

In terms of total wind power installed, Minnesota ranks behind Texas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Oregon, and Oklahoma. Minnesota gets about 17% of its electricity from wind, compared to Iowa's 25% and South Dakota's 24%.

Minnesota has driven investment in the wind industry, becoming one of the largest markets for wind in the US. In addition, the state has been successful in attracting wind energy manufacturing and creating new jobs.

Subject: 
Wind Resources
Date Created: 
2011
Format: 
7 foot tall fabric poster
Year Depicted: 
2014