Here’s some serious state marketing: Arkansas officials plan on attracting new wind-farm developers to the state by launching a tall-tower wind study. WindPole Ventures and AWS Truepower LLC will build a wind resource monitoring network for the state. The data collected will provide developers with a better understanding of the wind resources available and encourage development. The ARRA of 2009 will provide a large portion of the funding for the network. The Arkansas Energy Office, a division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission also awarded $364,000 in recovery funds and will oversee the project.
WindPole will collect wind data from existing communication towers that are 80-m tall and more, the hub height of industry-standard wind turbines. Data will include wind speed, direction, temperature, and barometric pressure. Instrumentation specifications are guided by Annex G of IEC 61400-12-1 and AWS Truepower.
The most commonly available weather data today comes from government sources and is collected near ground level mostly for aviation and consumer-weather users. Collecting wind data closer to turbine hub height reduces uncertainty and financial risk. Reducing uncertainty increases investor confidence and encourages development. “We de-risk wind-project development finance and accelerate grid integration with data driven by a portfolio of 12,000 existing, hub-height communication towers,” says WindPole CEO Steve Kropper.
“Providing wind data closer to hub height to potential developers will certainly expedite the process in Arkansas,” says Ignacio Carballo, senior project manager at AWS Truepower.
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