A Simplified, Efficient Approach to Hybrid Wind and Solar Plant Site Optimization

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7 Scopus Citations


Wind plant layout optimization is a difficult, complex problem with a large number of variables and many local minima. Layout optimization only becomes more difficult with the addition of solar generation. In this paper, we propose a parameterized approach to wind and solar hybrid power plant layout optimization that greatly reduces problem dimensionality while guaranteeing that the generated layouts have a desirable regular structure. Thus far, hybrid power plant optimization research has focused on system sizing. We go beyond sizing and present a practical approach to optimizing the physical layout of a wind-solar hybrid power plant. We argue that the evolution strategy class of derivative-free optimization methods is well-suited to the parameterized hybrid layout problem, and we demonstrate how hard layout constraints (e.g., placement restrictions) can be transformed into soft constraints that are amenable to optimization using evolution strategies. Next, we present experimental results on four test sites, demonstrating the viability, reliability, and effectiveness of the parameterized evolution strategy approach for generating optimized hybrid plant layouts. Completing the tool kit for parameterized layout generation, we include a brief tutorial describing how the parameterized evolutionary approach can be inspected, understood, and debugged when applied to hybrid plant layouts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)697-713
Number of pages17
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-78454 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-82744


  • design optimization
  • gradient-free methods
  • hybrid energy systems


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