NREL selects 3TIER to update national wind integration dataset

Seattle, August 22, 2012 — The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) chose 3TIER to update the U.S. wind integration dataset.

The integration of high penetrations of wind energy on the U.S. electrical grid poses special challenges given the variable nature of wind generation.

The updated foundational dataset is a massive undertaking and will be used directly by NREL to explore the potential impacts of integrating large quantities of wind energy onto the U.S. electrical grid. 

Accommodating increased quantities of wind energy while ensuring grid reliability will require infrastructure investments, such as new transmission lines and advanced energy dispatching technologies.

By comparing wind energy production data created by 3TIER with energy demand projections, a picture emerges of prerequisite infrastructure changes, allowing relevant parties to determine the most cost-effective and pertinent forms of infrastructure expansion.

3TIER has experience in applying weather simulation modeling to accurately predict wind power production over time — accounting for variability throughout the day, week, month, year, as well as long-term climatic cycles. 3TIER’s upcoming effort will supplement two previous wind datasets developed separately over the western and eastern U.S. for the period of 2004-2006.

The new study will use an enhanced, yet consistent methodology to provide 2007-2011 wind data across the entire continental U.S., leveraging numerical weather prediction simulations and other statistical techniques.

The resulting 100+ TB dataset will include 5 years of 5-minute meteorological data at a horizontal resolution of 2 km and detailed energy production profiles for 100,000 potential onshore wind project locations and 10,000 potential offshore project locations.

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