92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 11:15 AM
Enhancing Short Term Wind Energy Forecasting for Improved Utility Operations: The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP)
Room 345 (New Orleans Convention Center )
James M. Wilczak, NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO; and S. G. Benjamin, M. Marquis, S. Calvert, W. J. Shaw, C. A. Finley, J. M. Freedman, and A. D. Stern

It is widely recognized within the wind energy and electric utility operations communities that current skill levels of wind energy forecasting are adding increased costs to the integration of wind energy onto the U.S. electrical grid. To address this, the U.S. Department of Energy has implemented a joint research program with NOAA and private industry to improve wind energy forecasts. The key elements of this program are 1) a one-year deployment of extensive meteorological observing systems in two regions with significant wind energy production; 2) assimilation of these observations into the hourly-updated NOAA High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model, run nationwide at 3 km resolution; and 3) evaluation of the benefits of these improved wind forecasts on electrical utility operations, especially for ramp-events in the 0-6 h forecast time-frame.

In this presentation we will describe early results from the one-year field program, which began in July 2011. In particular we will describe:

The regions selected and local meteorological forecast problems Instrumentation deployed, including a network of ten 915 MHz wind profiling radars, two 449 MHz wind profiling radars, twelve sodars, one wind profiling lidar, 17 surface meteorological stations, and hundreds of industry provided meteorological tall towers and nacelle anemometers . Data quality control procedures. Identification of ramp events, and the meteorology associated with them. Metrics to be used in NWP model evaluation. A preliminary analysis of HRRR model forecast skill versus the NWS operational Rapid Refresh/RUC models.

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