Ontario wind resource atlas

Ontario Wind Map.jpgI've been playing around with [RETScreen][], a renewable energy and energy efficiency analysis tool developed by [NRCan][], and discovered this very cool [Ontario wind atlas][]. The atlas is an online, interactive, detailed map of Ontario overlayed with wind power availability based on the wind speed at up to 100 m above the ground (to be matched to the height of the hub of a given wind turbine). The map can show roads (how good is the access to the location?), parks and reserves, populated areas, important bird areas, existing power lines, etc., to help planners decide where (and where not) to put wind turbines. It's easy to see that the best places for both wind power and accessibility are along the shores of the Great Lakes. Off-shore wind farms would also have excellent wind resources, but may be more expensive to install. The shores of Hudson and James Bay in northern Ontario also have excellent wind power, but are far removed from the larger population centres and would require high-powered, long-distance transmission lines. [Ontario wind atlas]: http://www.ontariowindatlas.ca/ "Ontario wind atlas" [RETScreen]: http://www.retscreen.net "RETScreen Home Page" [NRCan]: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca "Natural Resources Canada"