Monday, November 16, 2015

Wind Power Research in the Gorge

From Troutdale to Umatilla, researchers will be installing meteorological equipment this week, with their focus on improving wind power modeling in the Gorge area:
The $9 million second phase of the Wind Forecast Improvement Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Scientists from several organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to collect measurements of wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity

The agencies chose to collect info from the gorge because it contains such “complex terrain,” said PNNL spokesperson Franny White. Readings will be taken at 18 sites throughout the gorge.

“Predicting wind power generation is tricky, especially in the uneven, rough terrain of places like the gorge,” she wrote in an email. “Improving weather models can help wind developers and power grid operators make better use of wind power and potentially lower energy costs.”

This is the project's second phase. The first took similar measurements in the flat Great Plains region and, according to the PNNL, improved weather model accuracy by 15 percent there.
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