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Title: Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set

Abstract

Offshore wind resource assessments for the conterminous U.S. and Hawai’i have been developed before, but Alaska’s offshore wind resource has never been rigorously assessed. Alaska, with its vast coastline, presents ample potential territory in which to build offshore wind farms, but significant challenges have thus far limited Alaska’s deployment of utility-scale wind energy capacity to a modest 62 MW (or approximately 2.7% of the state’s electric generation) as of this writing, all in land-based wind farms. This study provides an assessment of Alaska’s offshore wind resource, the first such assessment for Alaska, using a 14-year, high-resolution simulation from a numerical weather prediction and regional climate model. This is the longest-known high-resolution model data set to be used in a wind resource assessment. Widespread areas with relatively shallow ocean depth and high long-term average 100-m wind speeds and estimated net capacity factors over 50% were found, including a small area near Alaska’s population centers and the largest transmission grid that, if even partially developed, could provide the bulk of the state’s energy needs. The regional climate simulations were validated against available radiosonde and surface wind observations to provide the confidence of the model-based assessment. The model-simulated wind speed was found tomore » be skillful and with near-zero average bias (-0.4–0.2 m s -1) when averaged over the domain. Small sample sizes made regional validation noisy, however.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, 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:
1543344
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1545584
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5000-71112
Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073; ENERGA
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; AHA-7-70142-01
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Energies (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energies (Basel); Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; Alaska; offshore wind energy; resource assessment; WRF; regional climate simulation; model wind validation

Citation Formats

Lee, Jared A., Doubrawa, Paula A., Xue, Lulin, Newman, Andrew J., Draxl, Caroline, and Scott, George N. Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.3390/en12142780.
Lee, Jared A., Doubrawa, Paula A., Xue, Lulin, Newman, Andrew J., Draxl, Caroline, & Scott, George N. Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set. United States. doi:10.3390/en12142780.
Lee, Jared A., Doubrawa, Paula A., Xue, Lulin, Newman, Andrew J., Draxl, Caroline, and Scott, George N. Fri . "Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set". United States. doi:10.3390/en12142780.
@article{osti_1543344,
title = {Wind Resource Assessment for Alaska’s Offshore Regions: Validation of a 14-Year High-Resolution WRF Data Set},
author = {Lee, Jared A. and Doubrawa, Paula A. and Xue, Lulin and Newman, Andrew J. and Draxl, Caroline and Scott, George N.},
abstractNote = {Offshore wind resource assessments for the conterminous U.S. and Hawai’i have been developed before, but Alaska’s offshore wind resource has never been rigorously assessed. Alaska, with its vast coastline, presents ample potential territory in which to build offshore wind farms, but significant challenges have thus far limited Alaska’s deployment of utility-scale wind energy capacity to a modest 62 MW (or approximately 2.7% of the state’s electric generation) as of this writing, all in land-based wind farms. This study provides an assessment of Alaska’s offshore wind resource, the first such assessment for Alaska, using a 14-year, high-resolution simulation from a numerical weather prediction and regional climate model. This is the longest-known high-resolution model data set to be used in a wind resource assessment. Widespread areas with relatively shallow ocean depth and high long-term average 100-m wind speeds and estimated net capacity factors over 50% were found, including a small area near Alaska’s population centers and the largest transmission grid that, if even partially developed, could provide the bulk of the state’s energy needs. The regional climate simulations were validated against available radiosonde and surface wind observations to provide the confidence of the model-based assessment. The model-simulated wind speed was found to be skillful and with near-zero average bias (-0.4–0.2 m s-1) when averaged over the domain. Small sample sizes made regional validation noisy, however.},
doi = {10.3390/en12142780},
journal = {Energies (Basel)},
number = 14,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.3390/en12142780

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Works referenced in this record:

The Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit
journal, August 2015