Wind resource assessment in the state of Arizona: Inventory, capacity factor, and cost

Thomas L. Acker, Susan K. Williams, Earl P.N. Duque, Grant Brummels, Jason Buechler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


During the summer of 2003, the state of Arizona took delivery of a set of high-resolution wind energy maps that were developed with a meso-scale wind energy model coupled with wind data. The geographical information system data supplied with the wind maps was used to create a wind resource inventory that included wind energy potential, proximity to transmission lines, and land ownership. Four diverse sites were selected for further study, one predominantly class 3, one predominantly class 4, one predominantly class 5, and one predominantly class 6. At each site, the capacity factor was determined, the seasonal influence was observed, and the real levelized cost of energy in 2005 dollars determined. As the wind class varied from 6 to 3 the levelized cost of energy ranged from 4.22 to 6.00 cents/kWh. These results do not include the production tax credit or the renewable energy production incentive, do include adjustments for elevation, losses, and inflation, and are considered conservative. This paper documents the findings of the wind mapping process, describes the method and results of evaluating the most promising sites for wind development, and presents the cost of energy results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1466
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Capacity factor
  • Cost of energy
  • Wind energy
  • Wind energy assessment
  • Wind maps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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