ESRL/PSD Seminar Series

PSD Flash Seminar
NOAA Collaboration with the Wind Energy Industry: Results from the Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP)

Jim Wilczak
NOAA/ESRL/PSD Weather and Climate Physics Branch


he Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) is a public-private research program, the goal of which is to improve the accuracy of short-term (0-6 hr) wind power forecasts for the wind energy industry. Having accurate advance knowledge of the amount of wind power available through reliable weather forecasts can lead to improvements in the efficiency of the electrical grid system, including the operation of fossil fuel plants, resulting in lower costs as well as lower CO2 emissions. WFIP was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with partners that included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), private forecasting companies, DOE national laboratories, grid operators, and universities. WFIP employed two avenues for improving wind power forecasts: first, through the collection of special observations to be assimilated into forecast models; and second, by upgrading NWP forecast models and ensembles. The new observations were collected during concurrent year-long field campaigns in two high wind energy resource areas of the U.S. (the upper Great Plains, and Texas), and included 12 wind profiling radars, 12 sodars, several lidars and surface flux stations, 184 instrumented tall towers and over 400 nacelle anemometers. Results demonstrate that a substantial reduction in power RMSE was achieved from the combination of improved numerical weather prediction models and assimilation of new observations, equivalent to the previous decade’s worth of improvements found for low-level winds in NOAA/NWS operational weather forecast models. Data denial experiments run over select periods have identified the magnitude of the improvement that came only from the new observations. Ensemble forecasts developed by the private sector partners also produced significant improvements in power production and ramp prediction. Based on the success of WFIP, DOE is planning follow-on field programs.
Tuesday, August 26 2014

Seminar Coordinator:

SECURITY: If you are coming from outside the NOAA campus, you must stop at the Visitor Center to obtain a vistor badge. Please allow 10 extra minutes for this procedure. If you are a foreign national coming from outside the NOAA campus, please email the seminar coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the seminar to provide information required for security purposes.

Past seminars: 1996-2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013