Wind Resource

A site’s wind resource is one of the most important factors in deciding to develop a wind project. This is because the speed and frequency at which the wind blows dictates the amount of power that the project will ultimately be able to generate. Information on the amount of power produced is then used to calculate the rates at which the power will be sold and the time that it will take for the project to pay for itself.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Resource Lab (NREL) has developed a rating scale for wind resources. Wind speeds from 0 to > 9.5m/s are ranked into seven different classes that range from “poor” to “superb.”

In 2002, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst estimated the wind speed on nearby Matinicus Rock, making the case that it would be similar to the wind on Monhegan. They calculated an annual average wind speed of 8.6 m/s, which falls in NREL’s second highest “outstanding” category. In general, offshore Maine has been noted for its excellent wind resource.

This is promising information for a wind project on Monhegan. As we move forward with a more in-depth feasibility assessment, we will be studying the wind resource on Lighthouse Hill in greater detail. It is our hope to share these findings with the public in late Spring 2009.

To learn more about the wind resource in Maine, see Wind Powering America’s Maine Wind Resource page.