Distributed Wind Resource Assessment: State of the Industry

Research output: NRELTechnical Report

Abstract

In support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (WWPTO) goals, researchers from DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) are investigating the Distributed Wind Resource Assessment (DWRA) process, which includes pre-construction energy estimation as well as turbine site suitability assessment. DWRA can have a direct impact on the Wind Program goals of maximizing stakeholder confidence in turbine performance and safety as well as reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). One of the major components of the LCOE equation is annual energy production. DWRA improvements can maximize the annual energy production, thereby lowering the overall LCOE and improving stakeholder confidence in the distributed wind technology sector by providing more accurate predictions of power production. Over the long term, one of the most significant benefits of a more defined DWRA process could be new turbine designs, tuned to site-specific characteristics that will help the distributed wind industry follow a similar trajectory to the low-wind-speed designs in the utility-scale industry sector. By understanding the wind resource better, the industry could install larger rotors, capture more energy, and as a result, increase deployment while lowering the LCOE. a direct impact on the Wind Program goals of maximizing stakeholder confidence in turbine performance and safety as well as reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). One of the major components of the LCOE equation is annual energy production. DWRA improvements can maximize the annual energy production, thereby lowering the overall LCOE and improving stakeholder confidence in the distributed wind technology sector by providing more accurate predictions of power production. Over the long term, one of the most significant benefits of a more defined DWRA process could be new turbine designs, tuned to site-specific characteristics that will help the distributed wind industry follow a similar trajectory to the low-wind-speed designs in the utility-scale industry sector. By understanding the wind resource better, the industry could install larger rotors, capture more energy, and as a result, increase deployment while lowering the LCOE.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages36
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-66419

Keywords

  • distributed wind energy
  • distributed wind resource assessment
  • wind energy

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