11.3 Formation mechanisms and predictability of wind ramps in the Columbia River Basin

Wednesday, 20 August 2014: 4:00 PM
Kon Tiki Ballroom (Catamaran Resort Hotel)
Craig M. Smith, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

The rapid growth of wind resource production in the Pacific Northwest has led to increasingly frequent grid stability issues for balancing authorities. Wind ramps, or large changes in wind speed over a short period of time, are particularly problematic in the Columbia River Basin in that they difficult to forecast and resistant to MOS corrections. Wind ramps require farm operators to carry large amounts of contingency reserves, thus driving up the overall of cost of wind energy. Here-in we present an overview of the climatology and predictability of wind ramps in the Columbia River Basin as they pertain to wind resource production and grid stability. We quantify overall model predictive skill, including object based metrics, and discuss the limitations of NWP in forecasting wind ramps. We discuss common mechanisms of ramp formation and the feasibility of a wind ramp alarm and detection system for short term forecasts.
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