A manufacturer of wind measurement equipment has announced a program to fuel the growth of community-scale wind power projects. The Community Wind Information Service uses leading-edge wind measurement technology from Second Wind Inc, to provide comprehensive wind resource analyses to individuals and groups considering wind turbines.
The service will let community wind developers decide quickly whether the wind resource at their site will make their proposed wind power project economically viable. The process begins with a wind measurement campaign using the company’s Triton Sonic Wind Profiler. Second Wind then analyzes the wind data and other information to produce a Wind Information Report. The report includes detailed wind resource data, energy estimates, and capacity factors for the turbines under consideration. With minimal environmental impact, few permitting requirements, and a fast installation process, Triton can accelerate the development process. Because Triton units are easily relocated, Second Wind can evaluate multiple sites in a single community faster and at a lower cost than meteorological towers.
“Community wind project economics are tight,” says Matthew Cumberworth Sr., VP wind energy at WPCS, an international design-build engineering firm that provides meteorological towers, Triton installations, maintenance, and data services to wind-farm developers. “Many projects don’t have a budget for consulting and equipment purchases for site evaluation. A service like Second Wind’s can make the difference between a productive project and one that shuts down after a year.”
Triton is an advanced remote sensing system that uses sodar to measure wind at higher heights than the previous tower-based standard. By measuring wind speeds at the turbine rotor’s hub height and beyond (up to 200 m), the measurements reduce uncertainty in annual energy production forecasts. Ease of deployment also streamlines wind farm development.
“Community wind projects need a credible, low-cost, and efficient method for evaluating their sites,” says Michael Wiltshire, Triton account manager at Second Wind. “The Community Wind Information Service is a turnkey proposition. The customer doesn’t have to hire multiple parties or go through the onerous permitting procedures that met towers require. After the measurement campaign is finished, they get a report that details all of our findings so they can make informed decisions about their project.”
The service is available to municipalities, private landowners, engineering firms, or anyone developing community wind projects. It is cost-optimized for projects with small capital budgets involving low numbers of small turbines – one or two megawatts. The assessment period can last anywhere from three to 12 months, and all service options are priced under $50,000.
Second Wind Inc.