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Title: The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP). A Public/Private Partnership for Improving Short Term Wind Energy Forecasts and Quantifying the Benefits of Utility Operations -- the Northern Study Area

This report contains the results from research aimed at improving short-range (0-6 hour) hub-height wind forecasts in the NOAA weather forecast models through additional data assimilation and model physics improvements for use in wind energy forecasting. Additional meteorological observing platforms including wind profilers, sodars, and surface stations were deployed for this study by NOAA and DOE, and additional meteorological data at or near wind turbine hub height were provided by South Dakota State University and WindLogics/NextEra Energy Resources over a large geographical area in the U.S. Northern Plains for assimilation into NOAA research weather forecast models. The resulting improvements in wind energy forecasts based on the research weather forecast models (with the additional data assimilation and model physics improvements) were examined in many different ways and compared with wind energy forecasts based on the current operational weather forecast models to quantify the forecast improvements important to power grid system operators and wind plant owners/operators participating in energy markets. Two operational weather forecast models (OP_RUC, OP_RAP) and two research weather forecast models (ESRL_RAP, HRRR) were used as the base wind forecasts for generating several different wind power forecasts for the NextEra Energy wind plants in the study area. Power forecasts weremore » generated from the wind forecasts in a variety of ways, from very simple to quite sophisticated, as they might be used by a wide range of both general users and commercial wind energy forecast vendors. The error characteristics of each of these types of forecasts were examined and quantified using bulk error statistics for both the local wind plant and the system aggregate forecasts. The wind power forecast accuracy was also evaluated separately for high-impact wind energy ramp events. The overall bulk error statistics calculated over the first six hours of the forecasts at both the individual wind plant and at the system-wide aggregate level over the one year study period showed that the research weather model-based power forecasts (all types) had lower overall error rates than the current operational weather model-based power forecasts, both at the individual wind plant level and at the system aggregate level. The bulk error statistics of the various model-based power forecasts were also calculated by season and model runtime/forecast hour as power system operations are more sensitive to wind energy forecast errors during certain times of year and certain times of day. The results showed that there were significant differences in seasonal forecast errors between the various model-based power forecasts. The results from the analysis of the various wind power forecast errors by model runtime and forecast hour showed that the forecast errors were largest during the times of day that have increased significance to power system operators (the overnight hours and the morning/evening boundary layer transition periods), but the research weather model-based power forecasts showed improvement over the operational weather model-based power forecasts at these times.« less
  1. WindLogics, St. Paul, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
WindLogics, St. Paul, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Contributing Orgs:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (United States); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); South Dakota State University (SDSU) (United States); Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
17 WIND ENERGY; Wind Energy; Wind Energy Forecasting