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New Tool Will Help BPA Forecast Wind Energy

by Josh Peterson
KVEW, September 16, 2009

PATTERSON -- The Bonneville Power Administration installs a new tool in southeastern Washington to help forecast wind energy.

Crews put a wind anemometer on top of a 70 foot tower at the Horse Heaven sub-station.

The anemometer calculates the current wind speed and direction at it's location.

That information is then given to nearby wind developers who can prepare their turbines for the amount of wind that's on it's way.

"There may be wind here at this site 40 miles an hour heading west, so Arlington and all those other folks out there that have the wind turbines will be able to know we've got some good winds coming" said John Lodhal, electronic instrumentation technician.

Wind developers are required to produce a certain amount of energy each day regardless of the wind.

And if they can't meet that because not enough wind is on the way, the BPA can prepare dams to make up for missing energy.

"Without this stuff, they pretty much don't have a forecast" said Lodhal.

The anemometer installed today is one of 11 already in place around the northwest.

Three more are expected to be installed within the next few weeks.

Josh Peterson
New Tool Will Help BPA Forecast Wind Energy
KVEW, September 16, 2009

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