© 2018 Vermont Environmental Research Associates, Inc.  •  (802) 244-7522  •  vera@verarenewables.com

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Resource & Energy Production Assessment

Since the early 1980s, we have designed, installed, and operated field-based wind measurement programs.

Assessing the wind resource is a critical step in wind energy project development, and we offer varying levels of wind resource assessment matched to the phase of development in which we are working with our clients. In the earliest stages, we perform regional site screening with electronic wind resource mapping, coupled with GIS mapping and field investigations. In more advanced stages of development, we are applied to generate more in-depth results.

Geographically, our experience spans from Texas, California, and Wyoming to West Virginia northward through Maine. Our work with processing vast amounts of complex wind resource, property, and environmental data has proven to be the most efficient way of identifying areas worthy of further study. Property acquisition work, feasibility assessments, and on-site measurements can then be initiated with confidence. 

 

Our early work measuring the winds in New England’s mountain summits necessitated the design, manufacture, and deployment of the first heated wind sensors in the industry. These sensors facilitated reliable data collection for the largest wind resource assessment campaign in Vermont. We have experience working in remote areas with remotely powered meteorological stations employing towers up to 80 meters in height and/or with LiDAR and SODAR technologies to measure wind conditions up to 200 meters.

As raw meteorological data is collected from these field stations, it is subjected to a series of quality control (QC) procedures to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and to identify errant data. Statistical analyses of QC’d data are then preformed and the wind resource is characterized in reports for our clients. Ultimately the shorter-term meteorological data is correlated to longer-term climatic data to develop estimates of the long-term wind resource at candidate sites.

To feed into economic analyses, estimates of the long-term wind resource need to be converted into estimates of the annual energy production at the sites of interest. This multi-phase design process involves the selection of one or more models of wind turbines and then siting them in the most efficient configuration on the available property subject to environmental and engineering constraints. VERA performs this “micrositing” using industry standard software such as WindPRO, WAsP, Windographer, and Windfarmer. Estimates of the long-term net annual energy production are then prepared for various wind turbines and micro-siting optimizations. These estimates are key inputs into subsequent economic and sensitivity analyses.