Understanding the Role of Interannual Variability and Momentum Transfer on Wind Energy

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Skylar Koerner1, Nathaniel A Brunsell1, Lee Miller2 and David B Mechem1, (1)University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States, (2)Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
Forecasting realistic wind power potential is essential for wind energy to assist with meeting future energy demands. Current wind power estimates rely on the use of mean climatological wind speeds. This approach to estimating wind power neglects the influence of momentum extraction by the turbines (i.e. turbine-turbine interactions) and interannual variability in windspeed. The present study will use a wind turbine parameterization within the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model to assess the role of interannual and climatic variability on power extraction. The WRF model will be forced by NARR, and run from 1980-2010 to incorporate different climatic conditions over the central United States. Analysis focusses on the role of climate variability on wind power extraction; specifically on the role of drought and wet periods, as well as variability in the Great Plains Low Level Jet. In addition, WRF will be used to assess the impact of wind turbines on each term of the momentum budget. Understanding the impact of interannual variability will improve our understanding of the role that wind power can play in meeting future energy demands.