SD Wind Resource Assessment Network (WRAN) Home Page
Last update: November 14, 2008
WRAN users: we want to hear from you. We are considering making some changes to the types of data posted on this site. Specifically, it seems that most users need only the monthly data files, so we are considering focusing our efforts on those instead of the graphical reports. If you are a user of WRAN data, we would like to hear from you as to how you use the data, and what would make it more useful to you. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
To ask questions about this site, the WRAN, or the data, or to request raw data
or alternate formats, please contact:
Dr. Dennis Todey
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007
Ph: (605) 688-5678
Figure 1: Transmission Lines/Wind Speed
The Wind Resource Assessment Networks 2001 sites are owned by South Dakota State. They are Ft. Thompson, Crow Lake, Crandall, Leola, and Summit. Each site is equipped with the following instruments:
The 2004, 2005, and 2006 sites are equipped with a different than the previous towers.
The 2007 sites are owned by South Dakota. They have been placed on Public Broadcasting Towers near the towns of Faith and Martin.
There are several reasons why the WRAN was built. One of the most obvious is that it will allow statistical verification of the existing resource assessments of our state. South Dakota has tremendous potential as an exporter of wind-generated electricity. There has recently been a great deal of publicity over a Pacific Northwest National Laboratories study conducted in the early 1990s that ranked the contiguous 48 states in terms of their potential to produce wind power. (Click here for the results of this study as given by the American Wind Energy Association.) South Dakota ranked fourth in that study. Also, more recently, detailed maps of the wind resource in South Dakota were produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Unfortunately, both of these studies had to rely heavily on computer-generated models and very sparse measured data, because very little appropriate measured data exists. The WRAN will provide valuable data that we anticipate will validate the NREL maps, and perhaps suggest minor adjustments.
There are many other benefits the WRAN will provide. The data it will measure will be at
heights above ground that are more appropriate for predicting the performance
of large modern wind turbines, as opposed to data collected at National Weather
Service stations whose anemometers are usually only about 9 m (30 feet) above
ground. Also, we will collect some different types of data than most wind
measurement networks, which will allow a series of important studies of the potential
impact and value of South Dakota's wind power. (For more information on these studies or types of data,
contact Dr. Dennis Todey. In addition, all of the WRAN data will be made
available to the public via this internet site. This will hopefully
enable extensive informed discussion among all South Dakotans on such important
topics as rural economic development and transmission system expansion.
Wind Powering America: The WRAN was made possible by a grant from the Department of Energy through its Wind Powering America project, and by a grant from the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.
East River Electric Cooperative: The 2001 installation sites, communications network airtime, and installation assistance were generously donated by East River Electric Cooperative of Madison, SD.
West Central Electric Cooperative: The Murdo site is sponsored by West Central Electric Cooperative.
Gettysburg-Whitlock Bay Economic
Development Corporation: Gettysburg site was installed and had been
maintained by the Gettysburg-Whitlock Bay Economic Development Corporation.
Unfortunately the WRAN project has not received data from the Gettysburg
tower since late last year.
Kennebec Telephone: An independent
land owner, Warren Karlen and his brother Brad funded their own tower on Medicine Butte Ridgeline,
which is north of Kennebec and Reliance, SD. They had a local company, Kennebec Telephone, install
the tower and instrumentation.
Black Hills Corporation: Another new site near Belle Fourche is being sponsored by the Black Hills Corporation. They have been extremely generous and an integral part of funding some of the WRAN. The Black Hills Corporation also installed and continues to maintain the Belle Fourche
The head of the WRAN project is Dr. Dennis Todey of the Agricultural Engineering Department. For further information on this project, please contact him.
To the greatest extent possible (within the constraints of our use of existing towers and resources), we are conducting this wind assessment program in accordance with the guidelines laid out in the 1997 Wind Resource Assessment Handbook (National Renewable Energy Laboratories and AWS Scientific, Inc.).