Lake Champlain Wind Power Study

The General Services Administration (GSA) border hired ANTARES to conduct a wind feasibility assessment for the U.S. Border Station in Champlain, NY. Like all other federal agencies, the GSA is required by federal mandate to reduce the energy use in its buildings.

ANTARES explored the feasibility of installing a single wind turbine and generator in one of four sizes ranging from 10 kW to 600 kW, and feeding the power into one of the buildings at the border station. Efforts included:

The 50-meter met tower installed at the border station.

The 50-meter met tower installed at the border station.

  • Calculating each turbine’s energy production over time using power curves and wind data.
  • Assessing facility demand to determine overall cost savings estimates.
  • Comparing wind energy project costs to the status quo costs of the facility to determine economic feasibility
  • Evaluating the impact of incentives and mandates.

These initial efforts revealed that the Champlain Border Station had the potential to generate enough wind power to meet a substantial percentage of its power needs, and would meet the federal mandates.

After the first phase of the project, ANTARES was brought on for an additional study that included the installation of a 50-meter meteorological tower to obtain actual wind data for the location for 12 months. ANTARES worked with a partner to collect, quality control, validate, summarize, and transmit data for the meteorological tower.

As part of the study effort, the Champlain, NY location was submitted to the FAA for evaluation of potential radar and aeronautical conflicts, and a study was constructed to evaluate potential conflicts with microwave communications.

Four different sized wind turbines were considered 100 kW, 250 kW, 660 kW, and 1,500 kW. The considered models are shown below.

wind turbine comparison

The four wind turbines considered for the study,

ANTARES also calculated the net project installed costs which included incentives through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Other project costs included avoided costs from mandated Renewable Energy Certificate purchases and maintenance costs. The wind energy project costs were evaluated against the status quo costs to determine which cases could be economically justifiable over a 20 year life cycle.

The feasibility study found reasonable payback periods for a 600 kW wind turbine project. The next step for GSA is to complete an environmental analysis under NEPA review.

To discuss your wind project, contact our wind expert Heidi Alsbrooks. You can find her information in the sidebar.