When the Wind Blows
In the past, readers have challenged my assertion that wind in the Great Plains blows mostly in the winter. In fact, I was once taken to task for it by a Colorado State Representative (a know-nothing Republican from suburbia) when I was testifying as to the advantages of Solar in Colorado in terms of timing. In the past, I've only had secondary references to "NREL data," and ERCOT's Analysis of Transmission Alternatives for Competitive Renewable Energy Zones in Texas (pdf, 8MB), where wind in the Texas panhandle also conforms to this pattern.
However, I was just browsing NREL's Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States, and was able to see it quite dramatically from the maps. As the Atlas says: "Because there is considerable seasonal variation in the wind energy resource, with maxima in winter and spring and minima in summer and autumn throughout most of the contiguous United States, assessments of the wind energy resource have also been produced for each season." Here are the maps all on one page so you can see the difference (white/orange wind is weak; blue/magenta is strong.)
Map 2-12 Winter wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States
Map 2-14 Summer wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States
Map 2-13 Spring wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States
Map 2-15 Autumn wind resource estimates in the contiguous United States
Quite dramatic, isn't it? It's also clear why T. Boone is building his wind farm in the Texas panhandle.
|Tweet||Add to Flipboard Magazine.|