Enabling Control Co-Design of the Next Generation of Wind Power Plants

Andrew Stanley, Christopher Bay, Paul Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Layout design and wake steering through wind plant control are important and complex components in the design and operation of modern wind power plants. They are currently optimized separately, but with more and more computational and experimental studies demonstrating the gains possible through wake steering, there is a growing need from industry and regulating bodies to combine the layout and control optimization in a co-design process. However, combining these two optimization problems is currently infeasible due to the excessive number of design variables and large solution space. In this article, we present a method that enables the coupled optimization of wind power plant layout and wake steering with no additional computational expense than a traditional layout optimization. We developed a geometric relationship between wind turbines to find an approximate optimal yaw angle, bypassing the need for either a nested or coupled wind plant control optimization. It also provides a significant and immediate improvement to wind power plant design by enabling the co-design of turbine layout and yaw control for wake steering. A small co-designed plant shown in this article produces 0.8% more energy than its sequentially designed counterpart. This additional energy production comes with no additional infrastructure, turbine hardware, or control software; it is simply the outcome of optimizing the turbine layout and yaw control together, resulting in millions of dollars of additional revenue for the wind power plants of the future.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1341-1350
Number of pages10
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-85071 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-87857


  • controls
  • layout optimization
  • optimization
  • wake steering
  • wind farm design


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