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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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. We argue that the evolution strategies 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 ES approach for generating optimized hybrid plant layouts. Completing the tool kit for parameterized ES layout generation, we include a brief tutorial describing how the parameterized ES approach can be inspected, understood, and debugged when applied to hybrid plant layouts.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
JournalWind Energy Science Discussions
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-82744 for final paper as published in Wind Energy Science

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-78454


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


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