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GIS-based wind farm site selection using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA): Evaluating the case for New York State


  • van Haaren, Rob
  • Fthenakis, Vasilis


Twenty states plus the District of Columbia now have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in place that requires a certain percentage of energy to come from renewable sources by a specific year. With renewable energy on the verge of massive growth, much research emphasis is put on enabling the implementation of these technologies. This paper presents a novel method of site selection for wind turbine farms in New York State, based on a spatial cost-revenue optimization. The algorithm used for this is built in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 software and consists of three stages. The first stage excludes sites that are infeasible for wind turbine farms, based on land use and geological constraints. The second stage identifies the best feasible sites based on the expected net present value from four major cost and revenue categories that are spatially dependent: revenue from generated electricity, costs from access roads, power lines and land clearing. The third stage assesses the ecological impacts on bird and their habitats. The proposed spatial multi-criteria methodology is then implemented in New York State and the results were compared with the locations of existing wind turbine farms. The wind farm site selection tool presented in this paper provides insights into the most feasible sites for a large geographic area based on user inputs, and can assist the planning of wind developers, utilities, ISO's and State governments in attaining renewable portfolio standards.

Suggested Citation

  • van Haaren, Rob & Fthenakis, Vasilis, 2011. "GIS-based wind farm site selection using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA): Evaluating the case for New York State," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(7), pages 3332-3340, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:7:p:3332-3340

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    References listed on IDEAS

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