Location Intelligence Powered Wind Power

Following Hillary Clinton’s visit to Australia, where she announced that the US would continue to work with us to fight climate change and develop clean technology, it seems environmental diligence is once again front and centre.

So with that fresh in my mind, I thought today’s blog could have an environmental flavour… particularly, how location Intelligence is doing its bit for the environment. I’ve previously blogged about how Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, the world’s first waste-free city, has made international headlines for being powered by GIS. But locally, our renewable energy corporations are using it too.

One of our client’s is WestWind Energy, a wind farm compromising of 64 wind turbines in the vicinity of Lal Lal (southeast of Ballarat). By leveraging location intelligence, they aim to develop a wind farm that will cut more than half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Pretty impressive.

 “Wind farms are relatively new to the Australian market,” said Adam Gray, Project Development Engineer. “As a viable way to produce renewable clean energy we were looking for the best location which would maximise energy production and return on investment and the ESRI Australia solution enabled us to find it. 

“The Lal Lal Wind Farm will produce electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 75,000 average Victorian households. This will allow the displacement of more than 534,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for every year that it operates.”

Location intelligence is proving to be particularly useful in the planning, assessment and design phases of the wind farm – WestWind Energy needed a flexible mapping solution that would enable the production and distribution of high quality maps and plans – and they needed one fast. Following a review of solutions on the market, WestWind Energy implemented our location intelligence solution in just two days. You can keep reading about WestWind’s location intelligence project here.

As Mr Gray pointed out, wind farming is still relatively new in Australia, BUT it’s popularity world-wide is booming and it represents an important market for GIS.

“With sophisticated site development technology and incredible wind resources, wind energy is becoming increasingly valuable,” said Esri’s utility industry expert Bill Meehan. “We are now seeing utilities integrate wind power into the electric system to supplement fossil fuels. Wind is a cost-effective, non-polluting energy source that will continue to be one answer to international energy concerns.”

Read more about how nearly all wind power facility layouts can be done with GIS and how locating the right site for wind turbines can be done quickly and accurately with publicly available data and GIS technology.

Or, for more info on renewable energy in general, just click here.

– Alicia S.

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