6.4 An overview of NCAR's advanced wind forecasting system for integrating wind resources into the new energy economy

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 11:45 AM
6A (Washington State Convention Center)
David B. Johnson, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and B. Mahoney, Y. Liu, G. Wiener, W. Myers, and K. Parks

Working in conjunction with Xcel Energy, NCAR is working on a variety of research topics associated with the development of an advanced wind forecasting system. The rapid expansion in the number of industrial scale wind farms, with their highly variable power output, challenges the operational procedures of the traditional energy economy. The NCAR wind forecasting system is an integrated suite of technologies that provides both wind and power predictions intended to facilitate the integration of wind resources into the operational power grid.

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.

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