89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009
The potential effects of climate change on wind energy
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Jeffrey M. Freedman, AWS Truewind LLC, Albany, NY; and K. T. Waight and P. Duffy
Climate variability and energy consumption are inextricably intertwined. For wind power applications, variations in weather and climate play a critical role in determining accurate site assessments for long-term energy generation. To assess the potential effects of climate change on the wind energy resource, output from a GCM was used to initialize a mesoscale model to simulate the wind fields at two established wind power generation locations in California: Altamont and Tehachapi.

MASS (Mesoscale Atmospheric Simulation System) is a state-of-the-art non-hydrostatic weather model developed by AWS Truewind (“AWS”) partner MESO, Inc., and used in commercial and research applications. MASS is typically run in a series of nested grids, with the innermost grid having a resolution of 1 km. Output from high-resolution (50 km) global climate simulations performed at LLNL for the DOE/NSF-funded North American Regional Climate Change Prediction Project (NARCCAP), including soil moisture, snow cover and other ancillary data will serve as input to the MASS model.

A key component of this study was the simulation of future-climate (2040-2060) wind power production. Electricity production was estimated assuming both historical and future projected installed capacity.

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