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Research Article Open Access
Energy supply in Nigeria is a major problem for both large and small-scale purposes. The potential of wind power for generation and sustainable electricity supply is yet to be adequately harnessed. Therefore, this study empirically investigated wind characteristics and potentials over four meteorological stations (Calabar, Uyo, Warri, and Ikeja) within the coastal region of Nigeria using 4-year (2008–2011) wind speed data obtained from the archive of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET). The wind characteristics were evaluated using descriptive analysis. The Weibull and Rayleigh probability density function and cumulative distribution function were fitted with the actual observed wind frequencies at 10 m, and accuracy assessment of the goodness of fit was carried out using some selected error metrics. The Weibull shape factor (k) and scale parameter (c) were calculated and used to estimate Weibull wind speeds and wind power density at 10 m and hub height 70 m using power law. Results revealed that, the maximum mean monthly wind speeds of 3.88 m/s in December, 4.73 m/s in January, 3.98 m/s in April, and 8.37 m/s in August, were observed over Calabar, Uyo, Warri, and Ikeja respectively. The performance evaluation of the distribution fit revealed that RMSE (ranging from 0.01 to 0.06) and χ2 (ranging from 0.001 to 0.23) are very low for Weibull and high RMSE (0.03-0.33) and χ2(0.003-13.91) for Rayleigh, while r (>0.9) and COE (>0.8) were both high over all the stations and for the periods of study. The study concludes that Weibull model could be adopted as the best over Rayleigh for representing wind speed distributions over the coastal region and also Ikeja area can be considered as very suitable for wind turbine applications thus, the wind power potential in this area should be adequately harnessed in order to increase the power supply and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.