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Renewable Energy Question of the Week

December 27, 2010

Q: How do I measure the wind resource on my land?

A: Wind assessment takes place at a number of different levels: consulting a wind map, obtaining previously measured data, and taking your own measurements. The cheapest and easiest way to assess your resource is to consult a wind map. It is important, however, to remember that wind maps are not always detailed to the level of individual homesteads and there are many factors, such as hills, buildings, and trees that may further cause variances from the map. Nevertheless, it is a good place to start to give a general idea of your resource and do some basic economic analysis. The next step is to obtain data that has already been measured by other groups in your area. Airports, for example, keep track of wind speeds in their area.The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also gathers wind speed data for public lands. Finally, you can measure your own wind speed by installing a device called an anemometer.

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