Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


Nutter, Darin

Committee Member/Reader

Nutter, Darin

Committee Member/Second Reader

Wejinya, Uche


Historically, wind-generated electricity has been the largest renewable energy sources in the United States. Wind-rich regions like Oklahoma and Texas have fueled growth and sold that electricity to electric utilities located in wind-poor states like Arkansas in the form of Power Purchase Agreements. Future technologies such as Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, small wind turbines, and Tesla turbines designed to generate electricity from wind show promise in unlocking more expensive wind resources in regions like Northwest Arkansas by mitigating concerns about low wind speeds and noise. However, more factors than just feasibility influence the growth of wind power. Governmental policies such as ending the Production Tax Credit and decreasing cost of solar power threaten wind power’s growth. More than these factors is the low price of natural gas for the foreseeable future. With an already low cost of natural gas being exasperated by an oil price war increasing production and a global pandemic decreasing demand, natural gas is expected to stay low in the short and long run. This means further investment in natural gas generated electricity and delays in investment in wind power. This report shows unique predictions for wind energy given the COVID-19 crisis.


wind power, COVID-19, Arkansas