The arrival of Spring in the Bird Island area marks an important milestone for the Norfolk Wind project. Not only has the snow melted, but the area meteorological tower, or met tower, has been installed and collecting data on local wind values for a full year. In most cases, one year of wind data is necessary for a wind project to move through the development and permitting process.
National Wind Assessments, the wind resource analysis division of National Wind, has been busy analyzing meteorological data since the tower was installed in April of 2009. Kevin Romuld, President of National Wind Assessments, describes the initial results as “better than expected,” and is optimistic of the site’s wind resources.
“Early on, we based our annual energy production estimates on a Windlogics virtual met tower,” Romuld explains. “The data from our own met tower so far indicates that the wind regime may be more energetic than those initial projections” Although optimistic about Norfolk’s strong numbers, he remarked that more time is needed to analyze the complete year of data before any revisions can be made to the original annual energy production estimates.
The met tower data will help the project developers make important decisions regarding how to proceed. Depending on the quality of the wind, certain turbines may be better suited for Norfolk than others. Estimates can be made pertaining to the best placement of wind turbines throughout the footprint and energy production expectations can be calculated.