New Data Proves Colorado’s Wind Potential

The Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC), the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently published a new wind resource map for the state of Colorado. The map indicates that Colorado, which is ranked 11th in the nation for its wind energy potential, has significant wind resource potential suitable for utility-scale production.

Denver, Colorado – February 20, 2004 [] This resource map shows wind speed estimates at 50 meters above the ground and depicts that this resource could be used for utility-scale wind development. Future plans are to provide wind speed estimates at 30 meters, which are useful for identifying small wind turbine opportunities. Additionally, the map shows that there are significant contiguous areas of good resource with embedded regions of excellent resource found in the eastern quarter of the state. The excellent resource areas within the eastern quarter of Colorado are concentrated near the New Mexico and Nebraska borders. An area of excellent-to-outstanding resource is located along the Wyoming border north of Fort Collins. The exposed ridge crests of the Front Range, the Continental Divide, and in western Colorado also have good-to-outstanding wind resource. “This map confirms what generations of landowners, ranchers and farmers have known for years: Colorado has a lot of wind,” said Rick Grice, OEMC Executive Director. “OEMC has several programs and activities that support wind energy. OEMC has seven wind anemometers loaned throughout the state that gather wind data for analysis.” Also, to assist land owners and other interested parties in determining the feasibility of wind power, the OEMC is hosting its second biennial conference, Colorado Wind and Distributed Energy Conference, which has one full day dedicated to wind energy, on April 13, 2004.
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