2008 Small Wind Progress Briefing

The 2008 Small Wind Progress Briefing report analyzes the energy output of 21 small wind turbines installed in Massachusetts, with funding from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust(MRET),to determine whether these systems are, on average, meeting energy production estimates made prior to, or directly after,their installation. This report also identifies possible causes of lower‐than‐expected energy production and quantifies their impacts. Data collected and analyzed for this status report includes:

  • Monthly energy production values for the 21 small wind energy systems
  • Interval wind speed data from 6 National Climactic Data Center weather stations
  • Wind speed and profile data from 19 meteorological towers throughout Massachusetts
  • Test data on small wind turbine power output and inverter efficiency

Key findings of this status report include:

  • Based on data reported to MRET in grant applications and on monthly readings of revenue‐quality energy meters connected to each system, no installer or turbine model is meeting its energy‐production target.
  • The 21 small wind energy systems examined in this report are producing approximately 29 percent of the energy that installers predicted they would in grant applications filed with MRET.
  • Using the SWEET modeling tool and adjusting for factors such as power curve inaccuracy and annual wind speed variability (see Figure 1), Cadmus generated new predictions that, on average, match well with actual system energy output.