The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Division, provides a very useful tool for estimating the average annual wind speed 100 feet (30 meters) up for any location in the state. This interactive tool is ideal for anyone considering a small (home or farm scale) wind system, as the value can be input into our small wind financial calculator to find out whether a wind project will be financially rewarding. They call the tool a "Wind Speed Verification Tool".
Wind Resource Assessments
The first step for planning a wind energy project is determining if you have enough wind to justify the expense of the system and the time and expense of operating and maintaining your equipment.
Wind Powering America provides high-resolution wind maps and estimates of the wind resource potential. The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a wind resource map for the state of Minnesota. The wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height for commercial wind farms and Community Wind projects.
The Lummi Nation is requesting proposals from qualified consulting firms to provide wind energy development feasibility assessment services. The overall goal of the Lummi Indian Reservation Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Project, which is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is to determine if and at what cost wind energy development on the Reservation can help achieve the tribal goal of energy self-sufficiency.
This webinar was hosted by Windustry with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on May 18, 2010. The webinar provided a discussion of discuss environmental assessments for land-based wind energy development in and near communities along the Great Lakes.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and consulting firm AWS Truewind, LLC have developed new wind resource maps and wind potential tables for the United States, the first comprehensive update of wind energy potential since 1993. The analysis indicates that wind resources in the U.S. are greater than previous estimates, up to three times more than previous estimates with the potential to generate up to 37 million gigawatt hours annually.