Wind Energy Monitoring in Wekweètì: 2010 - 2012

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, atmospheric sciences, wind energy

Principal Investigator: Trimble, Annika EV (32)
Licence Number: 14793
Organization: Aurora Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010
Issued: Aug 13, 2010
Project Team: Jean-Paul Pinard (Engineer, JP Pinard Consulting), William Hurst (Technician, Aurora Research Institute), Annika Trimble (Project Coordinator, Aurora Research Institute)

Objective(s): The objective of this wind monitoring project is to quantify Wekweètì’s wind energy resources.

Project Description: The objective of this wind monitoring project is to quantify Wekweètì’s wind energy resources. The Aurora Research Institute recently completed a desktop study concerning wind energy in Wekweètì. Computer modeling and analysis of data from nearby weather stations indicate that the wind speeds in the community may be strong enough to support the use of wind energy in Wekweètì at the proposed project sites. Two years of wind measurements will be necessary to confirm this prediction and the viability of using wind energy in Wekweètì. These measurements will occur on a hilltop near the hamlet office. A smaller ten meter wind turbine is also proposed for installation near Wekweètì's anticipated new complex to displace the building's electrical load and to provide additional data for assessment of the hamlet's wind resources.

The wind tower and wind monitoring equipment will be installed at the proposed monitoring site:
Equipment will be transported to a site northwest of Wekweètì, previously identified in a feasability study, either by helicopter or with ATVs and trailers.

The tower installation may require clearing a minimal amount of brush and vegetation to accommodate site access (if a helicopter is unavailable) and installation of the tower and guy wires. No heavy equipment will be required during tower installation – only hand tools and small power tools.

The wind monitoring equipment that will be installed includes a 34-metre tower with 6 anemometers, which will be positioned at 10m, 20m and 30m (2 at each level). All anemometers will be calibrated prior to installation. Other sensors will include a wind vane and temperature sensors.

A smaller 10-meter tall wind monitoring station may also be installed near the Wekweètì’s new complex to further assess the hamlet’s wind energy potential. These measurements will benefit the owners of the complex by offsetting the building’s electrical load, and will provide an extra data set to strengthen the analysis of Wekweètì’s wind climate.

The tower installation and instrumentation will be lead by the project engineer who has conducted all of the wind tower installations in the Northwest Territories to date and will be supported by a technician from the Aurora Research Institute. The engineer has been working on wind monitoring projects with Aurora Research Institute since 2004.

The site installation will be conducted with the assistance of one or two community members who will be trained to maintain the wind monitoring equipment and data collection at the site.

The community wind monitor will visit the wind tower site monthly and maintain the monitoring site equipment. Data files will be downloaded monthly. Reporting and data management will be maintained by the Aurora Research Institute staff in conjunction with the project engineer.

Wind monitoring data will be collected from the wind tower for a period of two years. All data will be stored at the Aurora Research Institute and will be analyzed by the project engineer.

The results from this study will be compiled into a wind analysis report which will be posted on the Aurora Research Institute website. Copies of the report will also be distributed to nearby community organizations and project partners, and a plain language report will be distributed for community members.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.