Nova Scotia’s wind atlas

In keeping with its tradition of overselling anything to do with energy in the province (from oil to natural gas to wind), the Nova Scotia government recently unveiled its $78,000 Nova Scotia Wind Atlas.

The atlas, available on the Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s website, consists of a series of maps showing the average wind speeds at different elevations for the entire province. Although the maps only give the average wind speed, the website.s preamble states, “The wind resource maps, combined with the power curve of available wind turbines, thus can be used to estimate the electricity power production of a project.”

This might be true if the maps supplied more than the average wind speed; however, anyone considering siting more than a small wind turbine in their backyard would be ill-advised to use these maps.

Fortunately, there are other sources of data that can be used to assist in siting wind turbines in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Wind Energy Project (NSWEP) has data for selected sites around the province, while the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas website has gives wind speed distributions for all of Canada, including Nova Scotia. Interestingly, according to the disclaimer associated with each map, the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas was used in the creation of the Nova Scotia wind atlas.

Published: Daily News 22 September 2007