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Estimates of the Capacity Factor of Wind Farms in the United States

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The capacity factor of wind farms in different regions of the United States has been calculated from hourly wind data and the power curves of the wind turbines. In places with constant high winds like the Texas panhandle, capacity factors of 40% are possible. However the capacity factors in less favorable locations in Illinois or New York are below 20%. Reliable capacity factor estimates are important since displacing efficient combined cycle gas turbines from baseload generation by intermittent wind power could lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Before a site is considered capacity factors should be calculated from the power curve of the proposed wind turbine and measured wind data throughout the year, preferably at hub height.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

This article was made available online on 05 December 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Estimates of the Capacity Factor of Wind Farms in the United States".

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