Conference considers Ohio's potential
for wind power
By M. R. Kropko
Published November 10th, 2004
CLEVELAND - Ohio's only commercial wind farm is celebrating
its one-year anniversary by increasing output, and a new
wind resources map for the state shows potential for development.
Daryl Stockburger, utilities director for Bowling Green,
said the number of operating turbines at the wind farm
in Wood County was expected to double to four this week.
He said the wind farm was expected to produce 7.2 megawatts,
about the amount needed to power 1,800 homes for a year.
"A large area of the state has a wind resource that
with current technology is not going to be commercially
attractive," Stockburger said. "On the other
hand, along the Lake Erie area, the wind resource is much
Stockburger was among about 250 people at the 2004 Ohio
Wind Power Conference, which began Tuesday and continues
Experts at the conference were optimistic about a new
wind resources map.
"We are testing wind at higher elevations, and it's
clear the wind is much better. The new wind map really
opens up a new vista on Ohio," said William Spratley,
executive director of Green Energy Ohio, a renewable energy
organization that is one of the hosts of the conference.
"We've now got a federal grant to do tall towers,
measuring the wind at 100 meters (330 feet) in height.
A bank will not invest $2 million to $3 million in one
turbine without knowing the (power generation) output,"
The government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's
wind map for Ohio was completed about four months ago,
and focuses on wind speeds at 50 meters (165 feet) above
the ground. It was the state's first new wind map since
"It's looking at a finer level of detail than we've
had in the past," said Peter Dreyfuss, director of
the Department of Energy's Midwest Region Office in Chicago.
The wind map shows potential for commercial-grade wind
turbines mostly in northwest Ohio, parts of central Ohio,
along much of the Lake Erie shoreline and offshore. A
plan for a Lake Erie wind farm near Cleveland is still
in the testing phase.
"What we are trying to do with technology development
is capture the wind at lower speeds," Dreyfuss said.
"The wind in Ohio is not the wind in the Dakotas
for example, but the wind in Ohio is near load centers
(users) and access to the grid."
Dreyfuss said wind "is probably the fastest growing
new renewable technology that's out there for electricity
production. We expect a banner year this year for installed
wind capacity, because of pent up demand and the (federal)
production tax credit coming together."
More than 16,000 businesses across the nation have the
technical potential to enter the growing wind turbine
manufacturing sector, according to research presented
at the conference by the Washington-based Renewable Energy
The results indicate that a national investment in wind
might benefit regions other than those with the best wind
resources. Ohio ranked second to California in potential
for wind turbine parts production.