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Wind Energy Potential in NORTH AMERICA

Map of mean 80-m wind speeds for year 2000
Map of mean 80-m wind speeds for year 2000 north america

Wind speeds are calculated at 80 m, the hub height of modern, 77-m diameter, 1500 kW turbines. Since relatively few observations are available at 80 m, the Least Square extrapolation technique is utilized and revised here to obtain estimates of wind speeds at 80 m given observed wind speeds at 10 m (widely available) and a network of sounding stations.

Tower data from the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) were used to validate the results. Globally, ~13% of all reporting stations experience annual mean wind speeds ≥ 6.9 m/s at 80 m (i.e., wind power class 3 or greater) and can therefore be considered suitable for low-cost wind power generation. This estimate is believed to be conservative.

Of all continents, North America has the largest number of stations in class 3 (453).



Canada | Greenland | United States of America

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