A precise understanding of your wind resource is the cornerstone of any wind project. While some of the best resources are found on agricultural lands, the power in the wind varies greatly from one location to another.
Wind speed is the most important factor to consider, but you will also need to look at your wind variability, direction, and shear. Wind speed varies from year to year, season to season, with the time of day, and with height above ground. You may determine your sites' average annual wind speed, or compare detailed data showing fluctuations in wind speed to your electric usage. Because the power in the wind has a cubic relationship to wind speed, a site with an average 15 mph wind speed contains nearly 60 percent more energy than a site with an average wind speed of 13 mph.
One way to start determining your site's average wind speed is by reviewing existing wind maps. Wind Powering America has state wind resource maps that will help you determine if your site is in a good location for a wind project. If your site is in a class 4 area or higher, and free of obstacles, then you have good reason to look further into your wind project.
For more information on assessing your wind resource, visit Windustry's Know Your Wind factsheet in our Wind Basics series.