Catching the Wind: A Low Cost Method for Wind Power Site Assessment

EPA Grant Number: SU833530
Title: Catching the Wind: A Low Cost Method for Wind Power Site Assessment
Investigators: Jacobson, Arne E.
Current Investigators: Jacobson, Arne E. , Allen, Andrea , Apple, James , Benzonelli, Heidi , Bohn, Juliette , Bracken, Cameron , Deshmukh, Ranjit , Edward, Charles , Johnstone, Peter , Radecsky, Kristen , Sheppard, Colin
Institution: Humboldt State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2007 through May 30, 2008
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Wind generated electricity can provide an environmentally beneficial alternative to conventional energy sources. The use of wind power can reduce demand for fossil fuels, decrease local air and water pollution, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Humboldt County has an appreciable wind resource and great potential for wind development on both the small and large scale. For large wind farms site assessment is a small portion of the overall cost, but the small to mid-sized wind turbine market is hindered by a lack of reliable, accurate, and low cost wind resource data. Current practices require at least one year of measured wind data or the use of expensive software to estimate a site’s resource. We propose to develop and evaluate a low cost method for site assessment based on relatively short monitoring periods.


Our study will include two components: A) We will use long term wind data from local monitoring stations to develop and verify a correlate and predict software tool using a variety of statistical analysis techniques. B) We will install a wind monitoring station in the Humboldt Bay region to further verify the software tool and to provide the experience of installing and managing a wind monitoring system to the student team members.

The long term goal of this project is to provide a service that will decrease the overhead associated with wind site assessment, thereby promoting wind power development in Humboldt County.

Supplemental Keywords:

wind energy, wind resource assessment, measure-correlate-predict, data correlation, linear regression, vector regression, artificial neural network, Pacific Northwest, renewable energy, renewable energy education,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report