Methodolgy for Preliminary Assessment of Regional Wind Energy Potential

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Proceedings of the ASME 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer and InterPACK09 Conferences


This paper describes a methodology for a preliminary assessment of a region’s wind energy potential. The methodology begins by discussing four primary considerations for site location: wind resources, wildlife corridors, proximity to transmission grids, and required land area. Algorithms to calculate wind energy production using both hourly and annual average wind speed are presented. The hourly data method adjusts for differences in height, air density and terrain effects between the measurement site and the proposed turbine site.

The annual average wind data method adjusts for these factors, and uses the average annual wind speed to generate a Rayleigh distribution of wind speeds over the year. Wind turbine electricity generation is calculated using the wind speed data and the turbine power curve. The lifecycle cost of electricity is calculated from operating costs, purchase costs, a discount rate, and the project lifetime. A case study demonstrates the use of the methodology to investigate the potential for producing electricity from wind turbines in Southwest Ohio. This information is useful to utilities, power producers and municipalities as they look to incorporate renewable energy generation into their portfolios.

Inclusive pages





American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Place of Publication

San Francisco, CA