in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has reached an agreement with Xcel Energy to provide highly detailed, localized weather forecasts to enable the utility to better integrate electricity generated from wind into the power grid. The forecasts will help operators make critical decisions about powering down traditional coal- and natural- gas-fired plants when sufficient winds are predicted, allowing the utility to increase its reliance on alternative energy while still meeting the needs of its customers.

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will support the project by developing mathematical formulas to calculate the amount of energy that turbines generate when winds blow at various speeds.

NCAR will use a suite of tools to issue high-resolution wind forecasts for wind farm sites every three hours. If the prediction system is successful, wind forecasting companies may adopt the technology to help utilities in the U.S. and overseas transition away from fossil fuels.

"One of the major obstacles that has prevented more widespread use of wind energy is the difficulty in predicting when and how strongly the wind will blow at the wind farms," says NCAR's program director William Mahoney, who is overseeing the project. "These forecasts are a critical step in getting more energy from wind."

Under the agreement, NCAR will develop a prototype advanced wind prediction system during the next 18 months and will begin to generate test forecasts for Xcel Energy wind farms in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming after six months. NCAR will continue to improve the system over the following 12 months. The prototype forecasting system will then be transferred to Xcel Energy for operational use, while NCAR continues to work toward making the forecasts even more accurate.

SOURCE: National Center for Atmospheric Research


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Wind And Solar Are Catching Up With Nuclear Power, Says Report

A new report from the Worldwatch Institute says nuclear energy's share of global power production is steadily shrinking. Meanwhile, renewables' share keeps growing.


Could New Desert Plan Spell The End Of California Wind Energy Development?

The California Wind Energy Association says it is disappointed with the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which was recently released by state and federal agencies.


New U.S. House Bill Includes Wind PTC Extension

U.S. representatives have introduced the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014, which would extend the production tax credit (PTC) and other provisions through 2016.


Utility-Scale Wind And Solar Keep Getting Cheaper

A new study measures the levelized cost of energy from various technologies and suggests that the costs of utility-scale wind and solar power are catching up with those of traditional sources, even without subsidies.


The Song Remains The Same: Ontario Seeks More Science Before Lifting Offshore Ban

The Ontario government says the nearly four-year-old offshore wind moratorium will remain in place until the province fully understands the technology’s impact on the environment.

Renewable NRG_id1934
Canwea_id1984
Future Energy_id2008