Wind Resource Assessments

Minnesota Wind Resource Estimator - Small Wind

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".

The tool is available here.

Minnesota Wind Resource Maps

Minnesota Wind Map

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.

Wind Powering America Minnesota Wind Map

The Minnesota Department of Commerce provides wind maps developed for the Department by WindLogics, a Minnesota company that is at the leading edge of wind resource assessment using atmospheric modeling. These 2006 maps show the wind speed resources at 30, 80, and 100 meters, as well as capacity factor and energy production estimates for a 1.65 MW wind turbine at 80 meters.

Minnesota Department of Commerce Wind Maps

For other states, see the Wind Powering America website.

Lummi Nation Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Services RFP

 

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.

Wind power assessments developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL 2002) indicate that the large tideland and floodplain areas of the Lummi Indian Reservation (Reservation) are in Wind Power Class 3, having Fair wind power potential at 50 meters. Although the available mapping and general observations indicate that wind power generation is feasible on the Reservation, site-specific wind measurements are needed to ensure a reasonable economic return prior to making the substantial capital investments associated with installing wind turbines and associated transmission infrastructure. Numerous other factors, such as cultural, socio-economic, natural resources, noise, aesthetics, and adjacent land uses also affect the feasibility of a wind energy project on the Reservation.

Please contact Monika Lange for further information. Women and/or minority owned businesses are encouraged to apply. All proposals must be received by 12:00 p.m. on July 23, 2010.

Environmental Assessments in the Great Lakes Region Webinar

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.

Presenters for the webinar included:

  • David Stout, Chairman of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Charles McKeown, Renewable Energy Policy Program Manager, MSU Land Policy Institute
  • Michael D. Ernst, Esq., Director, Regulatory Affairs, Tetra Tech

Play the Webinar
This recording requires use of a compatible media player for Windows Media Video (WMV).

Download slides from the webinar:

 

The Environmental Assessments in the Great Lakes Region webinar and slides are copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be distributed in any format without the explicit written permission of the copyright owners.

Wind Resource Maps and Estimates Show Increased Potential for United States

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.

U.S. Wind Resource Map
 

Accurate information about the wind resource and the wind energy potential in each state is required for federal and state policy initiatives that will expand the use of wind energy in the United States. For planning installations of wind turbines and development of wind farms, it's important to know if the wind resource for a location is adequate. From wind resource maps, it can be determined if an area of interest should be further explored.

Areas with annual average wind speeds around 6.5 m/s and greater at 80-m height are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development. NREL has conducted a preliminary review and validation of the AWS Truewind's 80-m map estimates for 19 selected states (6 Western states, 6 Midwestern states, and 7 Eastern states) based on tower measurements at heights of about 50 m and above from more than 300 locations.

Wind potential tables, graphs, and maps are available for the contiguous United States and for each state. NREL also produced graphs showing the wind resource potential above a given gross capacity factor at both 80-m and 100-m heights.

U.S. Total and State by State Wind Energy Estimates

Wind Maps and Wind Resource Potential Estimates on the Wind Powering America web site

US Wind Potential Estimates on the AWS Truewind web site

Chapter 4: Wind Resource Assessment

Wind resource assessment is the most important step in planning a community wind project because it is the basis for determining initial feasibility and cash flow projections, and is ultimately vital for acquiring financing. Your project will progress through several stages of assessment:

Ownership: 
Subscribe to Wind Resource Assessments