ENVS 350 Second Homework Assignment:

All About Wind Farms in the Real World

You may work with up to 2 other persons on this assignment.

Please use the to upload your assignment.

This assigment is due by 8 pm, Monday May 4.

Before starting this assignment, make sure you access the tutorial below - especially if you have little experience with Excel. Make sure you make the YouTube go full screen so you can actually see it.

Download the Master Spreadsheet


Important Note: Do not include any years with 0 in them, else Excel will fail to produce an exponential fit
  1. a) The national growth rate is 26%. Find an example of one state that is growing higher than the national rate and show the graph for that state below.

    b) Suggest a reason why that particular state is having a faster growth rate.

  2. a) The State of Minnesota was the first state to ramp up commercial wind development. Their ramp up was continuous until the economic crash of 2009 which transferred into very little growth in 2010. Determine (and show your work) the growth rates over the period 2000 to 2009 compared to 2000 to 2013. Was there a significant impact?

    b) You have been hired as a consultant by Minnesota (which means you have to go to all Vikings games ...). Your task is to provide then a reliable estimate of their windpower in the year 2020. What is that estimate and how did you get it?

  3. The Case of South Dakota: At the end of 2011, a consultating report showed that by 2015, South Dakota would be expected to have 7000 MW of wind power. Everyone was happy. In January 2013 you were hired as a consultant because everyone was unhappy and its your job to explain what went wrong with the earlier projection. Your explanation is limited to 100 words:

  4. The Case of Washington: Predict the year 2020 capacity in the state of Washington from the past data. Use both an exponential and a linear extrapolation (make sure you always select display equation) and provide both estimates. Argue which one you think should be used.

  5. a) Combine the Washington and Oregon data sets and determine the expoenential growth rate for that combined sample. Show your work. Comment on whether or not an exponential fit is a good fit to the data.

    b) The Northwest currently has about 25,000 MW of nameplate hydropower that operates at an annual capacity factor of about 0.6. If wind farms can be built on the Coastlines of Washington and Oregon they would have annual capacity factor of about 0.45. Write a 150 word letter to the editor commenting on the feasibility that wind farms can eventually lead to the removal of these hydro dams based your assessment of the rate of wind buildout in washington and oregon over the last 5 years.

  6. a) Often times State capacity can suddenly jump in one year due to the addition of a single large wind farm. For the US, identify single wind farms that have been built over this time period which have a capacity of > 500 MW and provide a set of arguments or reasons for the conditions that allow that large of wind farm to be built at that location.

    b) Research the proposed Titan Wind Farm project - where is it to be built and what is its predicted capacity. Argue whether or not this is a feasible project.

  7. Suppose we have a national goal of replacing 300,000 MW of coal fired electricity by the year 2050 with wind.

    a) at a national wind capacity factor of 30%, how much name plate of Wind capacity needs to be built between now and then?

    b) What annual capacity additions over the next 36 years are needed to meet that target?

    c) If this annual capacity addition is meet with 1.8 MW turbines, how many turbines a year need to be built? What about if it can be meet with 2.5 MW wind turbines?

  8. The Vestas Wind Blade facility in Windsor colorado is a 400,000 square foot operation that employs about 1500 workers that make about 2100 blades per year for the Vestas 1.8 MW 3-blade turbine. It took 4 years to go from ground breaking to full production.

    Vestas has just obtained the US contract, for this 2050 project, using their 1.8 MW production plan.

    a) How many MWs per year can Vestas currently deploy?

    b) How many new facilities, identical to the Windsor operation, does Vestas have to build to meet the 2050 target?