797 Response of the Great Plains Nocturnal Low-Level Jet (NLLJ) to Various Wind Energy Scenarios as Simulated in WRF

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
D. L. Gilbert, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC; and A. S. Adams

While wind energy offers a number of significant benefits such as water conservation, energy security, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, it does have the potential to change patterns in local meteorology. Research indicates that the placement of wind energy turbines may have implications for regional weather patterns through changes in wind speed and direction, low-level moisture, temperature, and turbulence (Baidya Roy et al. 2004; Baidya Roy 2010; Lu 2011). In this research the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model is used to simulate the impacts of wind energy on the US Great Plains nocturnal low-level jet (NLLJ). In particular, the two commonly cited mechanisms responsible for forcing the NLLJ, shallow baroclinicity (Holton 1967) and the inertial oscillation (Blackadar 1957), are analyzed to see how changes to these mechanisms will enhance changes to the NLLJ. The entire warm season for the year 2002 is simulated in order to determine what the long-term impacts of wind energy development may be. In addition, the sensitivity of NLLJ changes to wind-farm size, density, and location are explored by running simulations with various wind-farm configurations. It is shown here that the removal of resolved kinetic energy and addition of turbulent kinetic energy by wind turbines acts to reduce the NLLJ magnitude as well as change its horizontal and vertical structure. The configuration of the wind farm is also shown to be of importance as well as the NLLJs location with respect to the wind farm.
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