Wind Monitoring Program
It is essential to measure wind velocity for at least one year in order to forecast how much electricity might be generated at a particular site. This essential information should be an early step in the evaluation process of wind turbines. The wind velocity data can be used to estimate the amount of electricity generated. Revenue from a turbine can then be forecasted if the sales price of electricity is known. Wind velocity equates to the “quantity of fuel” available for generating electricity in a wind turbine and it can have a high degree of variation over the course of a single day as well as over the seasons of the year. Geographic location plus local terrain and features will influence the wind quality, so it is necessary to measure the wind in the proximity of a proposed turbine installation.
This program was made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The Value-Added Sustainable Development Center (VASDC) of IIRA partnered with schools, farmers, rural electric cooperatives, municipalities and others to explore the wind potential in their communities.
A limited number of sites were selected each year to undergo monitoring of wind velocity. Sites were selected from applicants interested in future wind installations (small scale or utility scale) or genuine interest in wind resource data research. It involved the temporary installation of a 50-meter or 60-meter meteorological tower on or near a site that could eventually be used for a wind turbine.
The wind monitoring program closed in 2015. Data files and reports can be accessed in the Wind Data section of this website.