Poster Title

Utilizing spatial analysis to predict optimal locations for wind energy production in Washington state and British Columbia

Research Mentor(s)

Aquila Flower

Affiliated Department

Environmental Studies

Sort Order

63

Start Date

18-5-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

Wind turbines can harness a free, readily-available natural resource to produce energy that feeds the ever-growing energy demands of the United States and Canada. Wind energy is a renewable resource that could be used to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and limit the production of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. In the Pacific Northwest, a region dominated by the production of hydroelectricity, energy companies are beginning to invest and develop wind energy production. In Washington state, wind energy production accounts for 7.2% of the state’s total power production, while British Columbia produces 1.6% of its energy using wind power. In an effort to expand renewable energy production, this study utilized a multi-criteria evaluation to predict optimal future geographic locations for wind energy facilities in Washington and British Columbia. Using a geographic information system, variables on the region’s climate, topography, and anthropogenic developments were weighted and analyzed to identify possible locations for future wind development. Optimal areas had high aboveground wind speeds, non-forested land cover, low slope angles, and were in close proximity to existing power transmission lines. Additionally, priority was given to sites that were located away from urban centers in an effort to reduce noise and visual pollution. Early findings suggest that both Washington and British Columbia possess the ability to expand current wind energy production and supplement the use of hydroelectricity in this region.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 18th, 9:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Utilizing spatial analysis to predict optimal locations for wind energy production in Washington state and British Columbia

Environmental Studies

Wind turbines can harness a free, readily-available natural resource to produce energy that feeds the ever-growing energy demands of the United States and Canada. Wind energy is a renewable resource that could be used to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and limit the production of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. In the Pacific Northwest, a region dominated by the production of hydroelectricity, energy companies are beginning to invest and develop wind energy production. In Washington state, wind energy production accounts for 7.2% of the state’s total power production, while British Columbia produces 1.6% of its energy using wind power. In an effort to expand renewable energy production, this study utilized a multi-criteria evaluation to predict optimal future geographic locations for wind energy facilities in Washington and British Columbia. Using a geographic information system, variables on the region’s climate, topography, and anthropogenic developments were weighted and analyzed to identify possible locations for future wind development. Optimal areas had high aboveground wind speeds, non-forested land cover, low slope angles, and were in close proximity to existing power transmission lines. Additionally, priority was given to sites that were located away from urban centers in an effort to reduce noise and visual pollution. Early findings suggest that both Washington and British Columbia possess the ability to expand current wind energy production and supplement the use of hydroelectricity in this region.