Long-Term Uncertainty Quantification in WRF-Modeled Offshore Wind Resource Off the US Atlantic Coast

Nicola Bodini, Simon Castagneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Uncertainty quantification of long-term modeled wind speed is essential to ensure stakeholders can best leverage wind resource numerical data sets. Offshore, this need is even stronger given the limited availability of observations of wind speed at heights relevant for wind energy purposes and therefore the heavier relative weight of numerical data sets for wind energy planning and operational projects. In this analysis, we consider the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's 20-year updated numerical offshore data set for the U.S. East Coast and provide a methodological framework to leverage both floating lidar and near-surface buoy observations in the region to quantify uncertainty in the modeled hub-height wind resource. We first show how using a numerical ensemble to quantify the uncertainty in modeled wind speed is insufficient to fully capture the model deviation from real-world observations. Next, we train and validate a machine learning technique to vertically extrapolate near-surface wind speed to hub height using the available short-term lidar data sets in the region. We then apply this model to vertically extrapolate the long-term near-surface buoy wind speed observations to hub height so that they can be directly compared to the long-term numerical data set. We find that the mean 20-year uncertainty in 140 m wind speed is slightly lower than 3 m s-1 across the considered region, with larger uncertainty in stable conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
JournalWind Energy Science Discussions
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-86478 for final paper as published in Wind Energy Science

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-85203


  • lidar
  • offshore wind
  • uncertainty quantification
  • WRF


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