High-Resolution Wind Resource Data Set of the Greater Puerto Rico Region

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In February 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy and six national laboratories launched the Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transitions to 100% Renewable Energy Study (PR100). PR100 aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of possible pathways for Puerto Rico's energy future, with a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. As a part of the renewable energy potential assessment in this project, we developed 20 years (2001-2020) of data using a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model for onshore and offshore wind resource assessment for the Puerto Rico. The research steps in developing the long-term wind resource data sets based on the NWP model were: 1. Model wind resource based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. 2. Develop WRF model configurations for Puerto Rico. 3. Test WRF with 11 different physics parameterizations for planetary boundary layer (PBL). 4. Assess WRF output from the different PBL schemes against observations. 5. Select a final model configuration which can produce the modeled wind speed with sufficient accuracy. 6. Produce 20 years wind resource data sets for Puerto Rico region. In the first stage of our framework for developing wind resource data, we developed a WRF model configuration using two nested domains (9 km and 3 km) to cover Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands and downscale the ERA5 reanalysis data (0.25 degrees x 0.25 degrees; hourly interval) to a 3-km domain. For the second stage, we implemented one-year simulations focused on using 11 different PBL physics parameterizations to find a combination of WRF physics parameterizations that could provide accurately modeled wind speed for Puerto Rico. We also analyzed the sensitivity of the modeled wind speed to PBL schemes for onshore and offshore locations. The WRF output resulting from the 11 WRF experiments using different PBL parameterizations were evaluated against observations obtained from the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) as well as at hub height for a location for which measurements were available. A final model setup selected through the validation with observational data was used to produce 20 years of data with 3-km spatial and 5-minute temporal resolution. The WRF model output was post-processed to include wind profiles and basic atmospheric variables in a format that can be easily used for downstream modeling. The 20 years of wind resource data will be made available through NREL and support the estimation of wind energy development costs for the PR100 study.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages50
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-84223


  • land-based wind
  • NWP
  • offshore wind
  • PBL
  • Puerto Rico
  • wind resource data
  • wind resource modeling
  • WIND Toolkit
  • WRF


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