Evaluation of Optimal Distribution of Wind Power Facilities in Iowa for 2015

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


By the end of June 1999, about 250 megawatts of wind generation will have been dedicated in the state of Iowa. This represents the beginning of what is likely to be significant wind capacity development during the next 20 years in the state, as a result of possible public and governmental mandates and consumers' desire for sustainable sources of energy. As the utility industry in the UnitedStates moves towards a new structure, renewable energy sources continue to be an important part of new resource development. In this paper, we consider the predicted trends in load growth in Iowa. After accounting for the retirement of nuclear and older fossil fuel facilities over the next 15 years, we estimate Iowa's potential renewable generating capacity through the year 2015 and anticipatethe contribution of wind energy to Iowa's portfolio. The Iowa Wind Energy Institute (IWEI) has been monitoring the wind resource in Iowa since June 1994 to obtain wind speed averages at 10, 33 and 50 meters above ground at fourteen geographically dispersed potential wind farm sites. Winds in the Midwest are primarily generated by fronts moving through the region. The Northwest Buffalo Ridge areaof Iowa typically has wind speed averages of 7-8 m/s. Central Iowa may have typical winds slightly below this mean value. However, as a front passes through the state, there will be times when a wind farm in Central Iowa will produce more energy than one on Buffalo Ridge.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1999
EventWindpower 99 - Burlington, Vermont
Duration: 21 Jun 199923 Jun 1999


ConferenceWindpower 99
CityBurlington, Vermont

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-26723


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