Our very first project, beginning in December of 2006, was to assess the wind resource on campus by installing industry-standard anemometers on Xanadu House and Quillen Apartments. Finding very little wind resource, our group decided to expand our horizons to areas throughout the Bay Area, as well as to other renewable energy resources.
SWEP is also very active in wind energy resource assessment. After conducting a high-resolution 3D wind modeling study of the Bay Area, our group decided to focus on two primary regions: the Port of Redwood City and the town of Soledad, CA in the Salinas Valley. Members of our group constructed a 14 foot y-frame to support instruments measuring wind speed and wind direction, which we then installed on top of the 150 foot concrete silos owned by Cemex at the port. Our other wind energy resource assessment project is a partnership between SWEP and the City of Soledad. With financial assistance from a variety of internal and external sources, SWEP erected a 50 meter tower with anemometers at 50, 40, and 30 meter heights. These wind measurements will be used to gauge the wind energy potential in a valley which has been previously unexploited, but has good wind potential according to our modeling studies. An article about this project has been recently published on the SOE website:
In the spring of 2009, students also completed a San Francisco Bay Wind Resource Assessment, commissioned by the City of San Francisco. The final report has been used to advise the city of the potential to incorporate local wind power to achieve their renewable energy standards.