A Comparison of Preconstruction and Operational Wake Loss Estimates for Land-Based Wind Plants

Research output: NRELPresentation


Recent studies suggest that biases between wind plant pre-construction energy yield estimates and actual energy production are decreasing over time. However, variability in energy yield prediction accuracy across different projects and wind energy consultants remains high. Wake effects are one of the largest categories comprising the pre-construction energy yield assessment process. To assess the accuracy of wake loss predictions, we compare pre-construction wake loss estimates provided by 8 consultants to the estimated operational wake losses for 10 North American wind plants, as part of the Wind Plant Performance Prediction (WP3) Benchmark project. We estimate operational wake losses using supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data by comparing total wind plant energy production to the potential energy production based on the power produced by freestream wind turbines. In the presentation, we will discuss the overall wake loss prediction bias as well as the project-to-project variability in the prediction accuracy. Further, we will highlight challenges encountered when estimating operational wake losses, including the impact of complex terrain and the presence of neighboring wind plants.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the NAWEA/WindTech 2022 Conference, 20-22 September 2022, Newark, Delaware

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-83874


  • benchmark
  • energy yield assessment
  • operational analysis
  • wake losses
  • wakes
  • wind plant performance


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