The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and AWS True Wind collaborated recently on updating wind capacity estimates by state. Previous estimates were from 1993. The wind energy production capacity of the region greatly increased from the previous estimates, mainly based on better measurement instrumentation and improved wind turbine technology.
Each of the states in the Central Appalachian region showed significant improvements for wind energy generation estimates, as detailed below:
(All estimates listed assume 100 Meter wind turbine height and 30% gross capacity factor)
Kentucky – Turbines could generate 1,899 cumulative giga-watt hours annually.
Ohio – Turbines could generate 359,816 cumulative giga-watt hours annually.
Tennessee – Turbines could generate 2,355 cumulative giga-watt hours annually.
Virginia – Turbines could generate 10,336 cumulative giga-watt hours annually.
West Virginia – Turbines could generate 8,627 cumulative giga-watt hours annually.
Small-scale wind generation is also a regional possibility, based on significant technological developments in the area. Both small and large-scale wind energy production have the potential to produce locally-based jobs throughout the region. If Central Appalachian states pass additional energy policies to support community-based renewable energy production, wind generated energy becomes economically feasible in today’s market.