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Title: Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development

Abstract

Optimal wind farm locations require a strong and reliable wind resource and access to transmission lines. As onshore and offshore wind energy grows, preferred locations become saturated with numerous wind farms. An upwind wind farm generates 'wake effects' (decreases in downwind wind speeds) that undermine a downwind wind farm's power generation and revenues. Here we use a diverse set of analysis tools from the atmospheric science, economic and legal communities to assess costs and consequences of these wake effects, focusing on a West Texas case study. We show that although wake effects vary with atmospheric conditions, they are discernible in monthly power production. In stably stratified atmospheric conditions, wakes can extend 50+ km downwind, resulting in economic losses of several million dollars over six years for our case study. However, our investigation of the legal literature shows no legal guidance for protecting existing wind farms from such significant impacts.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Denver, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1484339
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5000-70979
Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; wind energy; wind farm; wake effects; power production; assessment

Citation Formats

Lundquist, J. K., DuVivier, K. K., Kaffine, D., and Tomaszewski, J. M. Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0281-2.
Lundquist, J. K., DuVivier, K. K., Kaffine, D., & Tomaszewski, J. M. Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development. United States. doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0281-2.
Lundquist, J. K., DuVivier, K. K., Kaffine, D., and Tomaszewski, J. M. Mon . "Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development". United States. doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0281-2.
@article{osti_1484339,
title = {Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development},
author = {Lundquist, J. K. and DuVivier, K. K. and Kaffine, D. and Tomaszewski, J. M.},
abstractNote = {Optimal wind farm locations require a strong and reliable wind resource and access to transmission lines. As onshore and offshore wind energy grows, preferred locations become saturated with numerous wind farms. An upwind wind farm generates 'wake effects' (decreases in downwind wind speeds) that undermine a downwind wind farm's power generation and revenues. Here we use a diverse set of analysis tools from the atmospheric science, economic and legal communities to assess costs and consequences of these wake effects, focusing on a West Texas case study. We show that although wake effects vary with atmospheric conditions, they are discernible in monthly power production. In stably stratified atmospheric conditions, wakes can extend 50+ km downwind, resulting in economic losses of several million dollars over six years for our case study. However, our investigation of the legal literature shows no legal guidance for protecting existing wind farms from such significant impacts.},
doi = {10.1038/s41560-018-0281-2},
journal = {Nature Energy},
number = 1,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Quantifying the Impact of Wind Turbine Wakes on Power Output at Offshore Wind Farms
journal, August 2010

  • Barthelmie, R. J.; Pryor, S. C.; Frandsen, S. T.
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 27, Issue 8, p. 1302-1317
  • DOI: 10.1175/2010JTECHA1398.1