A new report from the American Wind Energy Association boosts what it says is Nebraska’s potential for generating wind energy. Michael Brower, the group’s chief technical officer, says the report ranks Nebraska fourth in the nation for the amount of energy the state could generate from the wind, based on several methods of analysis.
He says the most important part of the calculation is a sophisticated weather model that takes into account things such as the speed of the wind at various heights above the ground. The numbers are much higher than what were previously estimated for the state and Brower says new technology allowed them to refine their models.
Brower says wind turbines are much taller now, they’re able to tap stronger winds and are generally more productive than older turbines. Brower says the estimate provides a measuring stick of the potential of this renewable resource.
Brower says the main benefit of the information is that it helps those who are advocating for wind or developing policies for wind to let them understand the priority wind can have.
Texas ranks as the state with the most wind potential, followed by Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and South and North Dakota. Iowa, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico round out the top ten.
The new wind resource potential numbers are available at www.windpoweringamerica.gov