Eighth Symposium on the Urban Environment
The Energy Committee


The impacts of wind energy turbines on local meteorology: implications for urban environments

Amanda S. Adams, Univ. of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; and D. W. Keith

Wind energy is the fastest growing non-fossil source of primary energy. The necessity of getting electricity generated from wind onto existing power grids suggests, given adequate wind resources, increasing numbers of future wind farms may be located near urban areas. As the number and size of wind farms grows, their impact on local meteorology must be considered. Wind turbines influence the atmospheric boundary layer by (1.) reducing wind speeds, (2.) generating blade scale turbulence in the wake of the turbines, and (3.) generating shear driven turbulence due to the reduced wind speeds in the turbine wake. Consequentially, large groupings of wind turbines can also have indirect effects on the local meteorology by influencing surface fluxes, advection of heat and moisture, and turbulent transport in the boundary layer. Through the development of a wind farm parameterization for mesoscale models, the impact of wind farms on local meteorology has been modeled. The downstream effects of wind turbines extend several lengths of the windfarm downstream, and thus may approach urban environments. This paper will discuss changes to the boundary layer due to wind turbines and what those changes imply for downstream urban environments.

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Joint Session 22, Modeling Tools for Energy Production in Urban and Complex Terrain
Thursday, 15 January 2009, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM, Room 124A

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