A renewable energy consulting and information services released the latest installment of its Wind Trends Bulletin, a quarterly analytical wind report. The report reviews wind patterns in Canada, Europe, and the United States for the Q1 2011. The analysis is based on AWS Truepower’s long-term simulated wind resource data set and is conducted by a team of expert meteorologists.
The report reveals that more than half of North America experienced at or above normal wind speeds compared to the long-term average. In the United States, a storm track promoted windier-than-normal conditions for wind farms throughout the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and northern Great Plains while the rest of North America experienced below normal wind conditions.
“In particular, the greatest deviations occurred throughout the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest which experienced conditions up to 20% above normal,” said Michael Brower, Chief Technical Officer at AWS Truepower. “Regions that experienced significantly below normal wind speeds included the Midwest, Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic and New England offshore areas. These areas exhibited wind speeds that were between 5 and 15% below normal.”
Conversely, Europe saw below normal conditions across most of the continent. Areas significantly below normal values included the British Isles, western and central Europe, the southern Mediterranean, the Balkans and Turkey.
“The persistently low wind speeds across northern Europe, especially in the U.K. are significant and may have long-term implications for wind energy in the region,” said Joan Aymami, VP of International Business at AWS Truepower. “As we have seen in many reports, underperformance is a significant issue in the region which is exacerbated by the anomalously low wind conditions over the past several quarters. Wind-plant owners, operators, and investors should be looking at every opportunity to optimize plant performance while they ride out the storm.”
AWS Truepower’s Wind Trends Bulletin provides wind plant owners, investors and operators with a high level analysis of wind resource performance influenced by climatic fluctuations such as El Niño. The analysis provides wind project stakeholders with a benchmark to compare observed performance and aids in identifying potential issues with plant underperformance.
“Wind resource performance is an important part of the equation when assessing plant operations,” said Paul Legac, wind performance team Engineer at AWS Truepower. “Once you understand the ‘fuel’ you can dive deeper into SCADA data and isolate other items of interest that may be hindering the performance of your plant.”
AWS Truepower provides in-depth analyses on wind and plant performance for clients worldwide. This high-level analysis was conducted by the firm’s meteorology team and is based on a computer simulation of weather conditions dating back to 1997. In-depth project assessments, maps, data, software and monthly reports are available by contacting AWS Truepower. The complete Wind Trends Bulletin is available online:
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