The main objectives of the study were to support wind energy assessment for all of Nevada by providing two annual cycles of high-resolution mesoscale modeling evaluated by data from surface stations and towers, estimating differences between these annual cycles and standard wind maps, and providing wind and wind power density statistics at elevations relevant to turbine operations. In addition to the 65 existing Remote Automated Weather Stations in Nevada, four 50-m-tall meteorological towers were deployed in western Nevada to capture long-term wind characteristics and provide database input to verify and improve modeling results. The modeling methodology using Mesoscale Model 5 (MM5) was developed to provide wind and wind power density estimates representing mesoscale effects that include actual synoptic forcing during the two annual cycles (horizontal resolution on the order of 2 and 3 km). The results from the two annual simulation cycles show similar wind statistics with an average difference of less than 100 W/m2. The available TrueWind results for the wind power density at 50 m show greater values of wind power density compared to both MM5-simulated annual cycles for most of the area. However, mainly in the Sierras and the mountainous regions of southern and eastern Nevada, the MM5 simulations indicate greater values for wind power density. The results of this study suggest that the synthesis of the data from a network of tower observations and high-resolution mesoscale modeling is a crucial tool for assessing the wind power density in Nevada and, more generally, other topographically developed areas.

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