Wind resource development along Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior

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Renewable Energy, ISSN: 0960-1481, Vol: 96, Page: 812-823

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Michael Mageau, Brody Sunderland, Stacey Stark, Steve Graham
Elsevier BV
article description
Wind development is one of the fastest growing sectors in the energy industry today. Under the right conditions it can be a large and sustainable local economic development opportunity. Current wind resource estimates (i.e. MN DOC) for NE Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Zone indicate that we have a poor wind resource not suitable for development. However, these wind resource estimates are based primarily on climatological modeling, and are no substitute for site-specific measurements. This project was aimed at achieving three primary objectives: 1. Obtain a minimum of one years worth of quality wind speed data (6/15/2007–6/15/2008) from eight sites (Duluth, Clover Valley, Finland, Lutsen, Grand Marais, Hovland and Grand Portage) along Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior; 2. Use this site-specific wind speed data to create a wind resource map for the entire region; 3. Use this wind speed data to conduct community-scale wind development economic feasibility studies. Our results suggest that Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior has far higher wind speeds than past estimates indicate, and we have begun working with several communities in this region on the development of their local wind resource.

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