Colorado is ranked 11th in the nation for its overall wind energy potential. In general terms, small-scale wind power in Colorado is defined as any project under 30 MW. Projects of this type are mostly community-based and geographically diverse. Unlike large-scale wind power, these opportunities tend not to be concentrated geographically in any one area of the state. It's important to consider that the wind potential and the technical challenges of producing small-scale wind power can vary significantly between neighboring areas around the state. The CEO currently supports small-scale wind via the Anemometer Loan Program and the Wind for Schools Program.
Anemometers are instruments that measure the wind parameters used to determine the feasibility of a location for wind energy. The Anemometer Loan Program (ALP) is a partnership between the CEO, Colorado State University and the U.S. Department of Energy. It provides anemometers free of charge to qualified applicants. By gathering and summarizing wind data, the ALP provides the preliminary answers to the question, “Is my land a good site for wind development?” Qualified participants are given free access to all of the equipment and assistance needed to assess their site. This program is managed by Colorado State University (CSU). For more information and to apply, visit www.engr.colostate.edu/ALP.
The Wind for Schools (WfS) program aims to:
Engage rural schoolteachers and students in wind energy education.
Equip college students in wind energy applications and education to provide the growing wind industry with interested and equipped engineers.
Introduce wind energy, on a small scale, to rural communities to initiate dialogue about the benefits and issues associated with wind energy.
Selected host schools receive a small 1.8-kilowatt wind turbine to give students both a concrete example of how wind energy works and an exciting hands-on educational opportunity using state-of-the-art technology. Since its inception, more than 10 Colorado schools have joined program with the support of the Colorado Energy Office. The program hopes to install many more small wind turbines at rural schools throughout Colorado.
For more information about this program, contact Francisco Flores, manager of the Distributed Generation Program.