There’s new research on how wind farms could be used to create clean, renewable energy especially on abandoned coal mines in Eastern Kentucky. But you may be surprised where a new study found the highest wind speeds in the commonwealth.
With all of the natural resources we have here in KY from coal to sunshine for solar power, researchers are now looking into whether or not we have enough wind to also harness to generate power.
“The new wind maps that were produced for the National Renewable Energy Lab do show some potential for wind development in KY. The maps give a really good overview of what the resource is and the country. It provides other states but to determine if the project is feasible from an economic stand point we would need to do further analysis,” says Kate Shanks, assistant director of the Division of Renewable Energy.
Other states are using and thriving with wind farms.
Shanks says,”You’ll see some wind development in IN, OH, IL, TN as well, primarily where the real strong resource is in the Mid-western part of the country.”
The ideal average wind speed for turbines is at least nine miles an hour. A recent study showed the highest winds in the state are near the Fayette, Scott, and Bourbon county lines, averaging 6.5 miles per hour. It’s not the ideal resource for wind energy, but may be an option for individuals especially farmers.
“If your interest is saving money you need to look into how much you can generate from that system and how long it will take you to pay off the equipment,” explains Shanks.
Many developers are looking for other types of renewable energy like power generated by moving water or biomass. But in the mean time coal continues to power the country. Coal produces over ninety percent of the state’s energy.
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