Relationship Between Wind and Solar Electrical Energy Potential in the Texas Hill Country: A Study at the Texas State Freeman Ranch Center
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Fossil fuel use has led to environmental concerns creating a need for renewable energy sources. The purpose of this study is to analyze metrological data collected at the Freeman Ranch Center to determine if there is the potential for wind energy to supplement solar energy, creating more consistent and reliable energy for the residents of the Texas Hill Country. Hybrid renewable energy systems are an effective way to overcome some of the challenges associates with specific renewable energy sources. A simulation calculator was used to simulate weather conditions of the study area along with potential output of a hybrid wind and solar renewable energy system. A hybrid wind and solar energy system has the ability to significantly contribute to the electricity needs but marginally contribute to the total energy needs of the Texas Hill Country residents. When factoring in cost of the renewable energy theologies it becomes clear that wind energy is not an economically desirable option. The added benefit of supplementing solar energy with wind energy is not significant enough to justify the added cost of wind power at this time for the study area.