An overview of NCAR's advanced wind forecasting system for integrating wind resources into the new energy economy
The NCAR forecasting system is based, in part, on a custom, high-resolution real-time four-dimensional data assimilation (RTFDDA) version of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), operating in parallel with a lower-resolution ensemble version of WRF that augments the deterministic model's forecasts with probabilistic metrics. The model winds are subsequently processed by NCAR's Dynamic Integrated Forecast System (DICast) which combines the deterministic WRF and ensemble model output with National Weather Service model and statistical products and real-time observations to produce turbine-by-turbine point forecasts of hub-height winds. The DICast wind forecasts are subsequently converted to power estimates by utilizing data mining models that are based on observed wind and power data. A unique aspect of the system is its use of real-time wind and power observations across the entire Xcel network of operational wind farms which are included in the RTFDDA model initialization, as well as in the subsequent post-processing that generates the power forecasts.