14.2 Renewable energy resource assessments from a climatology of short-range High-Resolution Rapid Refresh forecasts

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 4:45 PM
Room 6A (Austin Convention Center)
Eric P. James, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado and NOAA/ESRL/GSD, Boulder, CO; and C. Alexander, B. D. Jamison, and S. Benjamin

The High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) experimental model is being run hourly at 3km horizontal resolution in real-time at the Global Systems Division (GSD) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL). Each hour, the HRRR model is run out to a duration of 15 hours over a domain covering the entire conterminous United States (CONUS). Its 3-km resolution allows explicit treatment of convective storms. Initial and boundary conditions for the HRRR are obtained from the coarser 13km hourly updated Rapid Refresh (RAP).

While many users refer to HRRR output for applications such as severe weather forecasting, aviation, and energy, NOAA/ESRL also recognizes the HRRR's potential as a tool for building a long-term climatology of wind and solar resources based on its very short-range forecasts. Such a climatology, on the 3-km scale of the HRRR grid, would be able to resolve many small-scale orographic effects in complex terrain and coastal regions, but still remain well-tethered in 2-3h forecasts to very recent observations. We anticipate this resource will be of particular interest to the renewable energy community. In order to facilitate additional work, we have initiated a long-term effort to create climatological averages of some renewable energy related variables from a year-long history of HRRR runs.

This talk will present the methodology and some preliminary results of this ongoing work. We will describe and present various measures of the model representation of the 80m wind field during 2012, with a focus on thresholding to identify regions (over land and offshore) of high potential for wind energy development. In addition, a similar analysis of downwelling solar radiation during 2012 will be presented. Statistics will also be broken down by time of day and season.

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