An Overview of Results from the Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP)

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 11:00 AM
Room C114 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
James M. Wilczak, NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO; and L. Bianco, I. V. Djalalova, J. B. Olson, S. Benjamin, C. A. Finley, J. M. Freedman, J. Manobianco, J. Carley, K. Orwig, J. W. Cline, and M. Marquis

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored a joint research project in 2011-2012 with NOAA and private industry to improve wind energy forecasts, called the Wind Forecast Improvement Project. The key elements of this program for NOAA have been 1) a continuous evaluation and upgrade of NOAA's operational and research models to improve forecasts of turbine height winds; and 2) one-year deployment of extensive meteorological observing systems (12 wind profiling radars, 12 sodars, and hundreds of industry provided tall towers) in two regions with significant wind energy production, and assimilation of these observations into the NOAA Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) models, run nationwide each hour at 13 and 3 km resolution. Other important aspects of the program included NWP forecasts and model evaluation provided by the private sector partners, and an evaluation of the economic benefits of these improved wind forecasts on electrical utility operations, carried out by the WFIP private sector partners and DOE.

In this presentation we will provide an overview of final results from WFIP. This includes 1) an evaluation of improvements made to the progression of NOAA's hourly updated forecast models (RUC, RAP-NCEP, RAP-ESRL, HRRR) during the course of WFIP; 2) a comparison of instrument errors which highlights the need for improved observation quality control to maximize the impact on data assimilation; 3) the results of data denial simulation experiments; and 4) results of a ramp metric applied to the NOAA RAP model, with and without assimilation of the WFIP special observations.

Companion papers will be submitted to the conference by the two WFIP private sector partners and DOE, which will focus on the economic results.