State Seeks to Test Windy Areas
Feb 28, 2006, - Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
In an effort to enhance the state's wind energy program,
the Utah Geological Survey is looking for participants
to help determine the best potential sources of wind
energy around the state.
As part of the project, the state will loan wind-measuring
devices, called anemometers, to landowners, schools,
farmers and other property owners in hopes of finding
the areas where the wind is strong enough for sustained
"Anemometers are tall poles that have a couple of
measuring devices on them," said Jason Berry, state
renewable energy coordinator. "One measures wind speed
and the other measures direction."
Berry said the state is looking for up to eight sites
with strong, consistent winds that could be developed
commercially or for residential use.
"We are specifically looking for potential sites
along the Utah- Wyoming border in Rich and Summit
counties as well as other areas in southwestern Utah,"
Berry said areas along the Wasatch Front aren't
suitable for this kind of energy development due to
the inconsistency of the winds. "With the exception
of certain geographical features, like the mouth of
Spanish Fork canyon, most winds are too localized,"
He said Beaver and Iron counties contain areas with
good wind development potential in addition to northern
parts of the state.
"We're looking for winds that are 12 to 16 miles
an hour on average for commercial development," Berry
said. "That's the kind of wind speeds you see out
near Evanston." For residential development, he said
winds should be in the 10 to 12 mph range.
Participants will have 20-meter or 50-meter anemometer
towers installed on their property by the UGS at no
cost, along with monitoring equipment for a one-year
Berry said the data will help the UGS better understand
the nature of Utah's wind resource. Qualifying participants
will be required each month to send in a data plug
in exchange for a monthly data analysis report. After
a year, the state will issue a final report on the
feasibility of small or large-scale wind development
on the participant's property, he said.
The deadline for applications is Saturday. Details
are available at geology.utah.gov/sep/wind.
He noted a company called UPC Wind is already targeting
a large site in Beaver County near Milford that could
potentially be a major source of wind energy.
"It is initially going to be 17,000 acres," he said.
"It's a perfect spot. It's relatively flat with just
a little sagebrush here and there." Berry added the
site is tentatively scheduled for development sometime
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