Wind Energy Maps for New England Unveiled

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, in conjunction with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and Northeast Utilities, commissioned and funded the preparation of Wind Energy Resource Maps for New England. Maps were developed by TrueWind Solutions, LLC and AWS Scientific, Inc.

Boston, Massachusetts – July 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Initial Southern New England Wind Energy Resource Maps were developed in 2002 and have been available on compact disc since July 2002. The modeling and mapping of the remainder of New England was completed in the Spring of 2003. Additionally, Enhanced Wind Energy Resource Maps were developed for all of New England and provide maps depicting town borders, state owned land, bathymetry, and transmission lines along with the wind resource information. The New England Wind Energy Resource Maps (both Southern and Northern) are available in a searchable electronic format at a scale down to 200 meters square for the entire region. Wind data includes: – predicted mean wind speed at 30 m, 50 m, 70 m and 100 m height; and – predicted mean wind power at 50 m height. The wind speed and power predictions are generated by a numerical model that simulates weather conditions over a 15-year period, taking into account geophysical inputs such as elevation, land use and vegetation. Review the “Project Reports” for more information. The maps are available in three formats: 1. Static maps in pdf (Portable Display Format) 2. Web-interactive maps which allow the user to zoom in to a particular geographic location. 3. Geographic Information System (GIS) compatible maps are available on CD from MTC; requires installation of Arc Reader or Arc Explorer software available free from ESRI (www.esri.com). GIS maps also allow the user to zoom in to a particular geographic location. Highlights: Analysis indicates that wind is an economically and technically viable resource for power generation in both coastal and upland areas across the region. Resource availability is concentrated in the hills of western Massachusetts and Connecticut, the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, the coastal areas of all New England, and offshore. Commercial wind power projects using large turbines generally require a mean wind speed of at least 7 m/s or mean power of at least 400 W/m2 (NREL class 4 or higher).Wind turbines that are designed to operate at lower wind speeds, may be viable at mean speeds as low as 5-6 m/s (NREL class 2 to 3). Small wind turbines would be on shorter towers and would use the 30 m height wind energy resource map.
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