IV. Steps to Building a Wind Farm
Below are 10 steps to developing a wind farm produced by the AWEA8. Some of the
data in this fact sheet appears to be dated though the general information still applies,
updated numbers are provided in parenthesis when available.
10 Steps to Building a Wind Farm
1. Understand Your Wind Resource
The most important factor to consider in the construction of a wind energy
facility is the site’s wind resource. A site must have a minimum annual average
wind speed in the neighborhood of 11-13 mph to even be considered. Local
weather data available from airports and meteorological stations may provide
some insight as to averages. You can also check the wind maps for your state
on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Web site, at
http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/. In time; you will want to install you
own monitoring devices to record the site’s wind characteristics.
2. Determine Proximity to Existing Transmission Lines
A critical issue in keeping costs down in building a wind farm is minimizing the
amount of transmission infrastructure that has to be installed. High voltage lines
can cost thousands of dollars per mile. (An article from the USA Today on
2/26/08 cited high voltage line cost at $1.5 million per mile.) Whenever
possible, availability and access to existing lines should be considered in
selecting a site.
8 American Wind Energy Association. 10 Steps to Developing a Wind Farm Fact Sheet.
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