Monday, November 08, 2004

Do Wind Turbines Change the Weather?

The New York Times, and the New Scientist both have reports on a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, which indicates that large wind farms could have micro-climate effects on the weather surrounding turbines.

The study, based on modeling of a hypothetical wind farm consisting of a 100 by 100 array of wind turbines, each 100 meters tall and set 1 kilometers apart, indicates that turbines could affect wind speeds as well as ground tempuratures below the turbines. According to the model, an array of 10,000 turbines could theoretically increase wind speeds 1.5 meters/second, and temperatures up to 2 degree celsius at the base of the turbines. According to the New Scientist Article, the study's hypothetical results are corroborated to some extent by observations in data collected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at a wind farm in California.

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