Wind research may propel MCC interest

Special to QCS

Despite windy conditions, two men worked recently at the top of the 55-meter ENMR Plateau communications tower on Eleventh Street to attach new wind monitoring equipment to the tower for Mesalands Community College.

The work was done on June 21 by an Albuquerque firm, Class One Technical Services, as part of a $63,000 grant from the state, according to a release from the college. The grant was given to the college from the New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources to gather information about wind conditions at the site where the proposed North American Wind Research and Training Center (NAWRTC) will be built.

Collecting pertinent data is part of establishing NAWRTC in Tucumcari, where it is planned to have a facility where people will be able to come to Mesalands Community College to conduct research and learn about wind turbine installation and maintenance, the release stated.

The recent project provided for two wind monitoring devices to be placed on the tower. One device is located about three-fourths of the way up, 40 meters, and another at the top. Cables run from the devices to a monitoring station where information about wind velocity and direction is gathered.

“It is all part of measuring the wind at the NAWRTC site so that the correct size turbine can be determined for the location,” said Jim Morgan, Director of Technology at Mesalands.
“The data collected will provide the necessary ingredients to determine the type of unit to be installed and the amount of energy it will produce,” he said.

Grant funds are being used for test equipment and for professional services to make sense of the data, which will give Mesalands the information it will need to negotiate with the electric utility company before the turbine can be connected to the electrical grid, the release said.

While the wind information is being collected from the new equipment, Mesalands and NAWRTC are moving forward with data already collected in this area by the National Weather Service and AWS Truewind, an engineering and research firm serving the energy industry.

— Story provided by Mesalands Community College.