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Marquis M., J. M. Wilczak, M. Ahlstrom, et al. (September 2011): Forecasting the Wind to Reach Significant Penetration Levels of Wind Energy. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 92 (9), 1159-1171. doi:10.1175/2011BAMS3033.1

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Advances in atmospheric science are critical to increased deployment of variable renewable energy (VRE) sources. For VRE sources, such as wind and solar, to reach high penetration levels in the nation's electric grid, electric system operators and VRE operators need better atmospheric observations, models, and forecasts. Improved meteorological observations through a deep layer of the atmosphere are needed for assimilation into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. The need for improved operational NWP forecasts that can be used as inputs to power prediction models in the 0–36-h time frame is particularly urgent and more accurate predictions of rapid changes in VRE generation (ramp events) in the very short range (0–6 h) are crucial. We describe several recent studies that investigate the feasibility of generating 20% or more of the nation's electricity from weather-dependent VRE. Next, we describe key advances in atmospheric science needed for effective development of wind energy and approaches to achieving these improvements. The financial benefit to the nation of improved wind forecasts is potentially in the billions of dollars per year. Obtaining the necessary meteorological and climatological observations and predictions is a major undertaking, requiring collaboration from the government, private, and academic sectors. We describe a field project that will begin in 2011 to improve short-term wind forecasts, which demonstrates such a collaboration, and which falls under a recent memorandum of understanding between the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1175/2011BAMS3033.1