Stanford researchers modelized interactions between wind farm developers and landowners

Wind farming

 A wind farm or wind park also called a wind power station or wind power plant is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. Wind farms vary in size from a small number of turbines to several hundred wind turbines covering an extensive area.

The Research

Engineers at Stanford have devised a model to describe how, in the process of establishing wind farms, interactions between developers and landowners affect energy production costs. Wind farms are large, highly technical projects but their development often relies on personal decisions made by individual landowners and small communities. Recognizing the power of the human element in wind farm planning, Stanford University researchers have devised a model that considers how interactions between developers and landowners affect the success and cost of wind farms.

Appraising interactions

During the process of planning a wind farm, a developer uses models to predict how much the project will cost versus how much energy it will produce. These models are mathematical formulas that map the relationships between different pieces of a project – such as materials, labor, land, and, in this case, interactions between developers and landowners.

A co-design exercise

The researchers recognize that making the development process more transparent is challenging and adds to initial expenses. However, they are still optimistic about the potential for innovative, collaborative actions that could ultimately improve the success and value of wind power.