Evaluation of the Potential for Wake Steering for U.S. Land-Based Power Plants

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18 Scopus Citations


The wind power plant-wide control strategy known as wake steering involves the misalignment of upstream turbines with the wind direction to deflect wakes away from downstream turbines, increasing net wind plant power production. In this paper, we evaluate the potential of wake steering for U.S. land-based wind power plants. First, we outline a method for simulating and optimizing wake steering control for existing wind plants by combining the flow redirection and induction in steady state wake steering engineering model with the U.S. Wind Turbine Database and Wind Integration National Dataset Toolkit wind resource dataset. Next, to better understand the potential benefits of wake steering beyond those for existing wind plants, we evaluate the relative impacts of turbine specific power, turbine spacing, and mean wind speed on energy gain and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) using a model land-based wind power plant. For a subset of 60 existing wind plants, assuming a constant turbulence intensity of 8%, wake steering was found to yield an average annual energy production (AEP) gain of 0.80%, equivalent to recovering 13.85% of baseline wake losses. Further, we present a linear approximation between baseline wake losses and AEP gains that can be used to estimate wake steering gains for other wind power plants. Highlighting additional benefits of wake steering, for the model wind power plant we found that energy gains from wake steering enabled an approximate 30% reduction in turbine spacing while keeping LCOE constant.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 033303
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-78289


  • controls-oriented modeling
  • U.S. Wind Turbine Database
  • wake steering
  • wind farm control
  • WIND Toolkit


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