National Renewable Energy Labs selects 3TIER to conduct largest wind integration study to date

Renewable Energy Access: 3TIER announced today it was chosen by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to conduct the largest scale wind integration study ever undertaken. The Western Wind Integration Study (WWIS) will support federal and state initiatives to expand renewable energy capacity by helping utilities understand operational and cost impacts of wind power integration. Study results will be publicly available online after the study is complete in late spring 2008.

“We know that areas with good wind resources have the potential to supply up to 20 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption, ” said NREL’s Director of Wind Technology Robert Thresher. “But historically, one of the largest problems with wind energy is the cost of integrating it into a regional system while maintaining power output reliability because it is an intermittent weather-dependent fuel source. Our goal is that with the information from the WWIS, many of those barriers to expanding wind power capacity in the western United States will go away.”

“If we want to maximize wind power capacity in the West, utilities will need better information,” said Bart Nijssen, chief technology officer at 3TIER, the largest provider of renewable energy forecasting in North America.

“Because of 3TIER’s extensive experience using mesoscale weather simulations and our super-computing power,” Nijssen said, “we are able to create the highest quality data set that is seamless for the entire region and give decision-makers the information they need to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the United States.” Technical details of the WWIS include:

* The data set will cover a three-year period at a temporal resolution of 10 minutes

* The physical area covered is more than 4MM square kilometers, over 11 states at a spatial resolution of two kilometers

* 30,000 synthetic time series of wind energy output will be generated, representing unique 30 megawatt wind farms and totaling 900 gigawatts of potential energy capacity

* The synthetic time series will be made publicly available through a Web site developed by 3TIER and maintained by NREL

“We know that areas with good wind resources have the potential to supply up to 20 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption, “ said NREL’s Director of Wind Technology Robert Thresher. “But historically, one of the largest problems with wind energy is the cost of integrating it into a regional system while maintaining power output reliability because it is an intermittent weather-dependent fuel source. Our goal is that with the information from the WWIS, many of those barriers to expanding wind power capacity in the western United States will go away.”

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