It’s not windy enough here

Timlynn Babitsky | Why here?,Wind Power Basics | Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
“Why do you want to put a turbine there? We don’t have good wind,” is often the very first sign of potential disagreement with your wind project. To answer these potential resistors you need to take this question seriously even if you live in one of the top five windiest states in the nation. Why?

The 5 top windiest states in the US are (in order), North Dakota, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, and Montana. Yet, according to the American Wind Energy Association, at the end of 2005, the 5 top states in the US capturing wind to generate power were (in order at that time) California, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. (Note: Texas has likely surpassed California since the 2005 data.)

Of course there are a lot of reasons why the windiest states have not yet tapped their potential, while states with less potential are maximizing what they have. But in terms of your own project, no matter where you live you must be prepared to answer a key question everyone of your stakeholders, supporters and resistors will ask:

What’s the quality of the wind in your target location?
Wind Powering America’s State Wind Resource Maps, the Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States, and anemometer monitoring wind quality at the project site itself will give you enough information to answer anyone who questions your project location. And, doing this homework to prepare for meetings with stakeholders, potential allies and resistors will give you the confidence to know that the site you have chosen really does have enough wind to warrant pushing forward.

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