Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University have recently designed a new model to determine where wind farms should be built. In the past, considerations have generally only been focused around the terrain and the wind speed/consistency in the area, but this can be hard to determine. This level of unpredictability has been a drawback in promoting this renewable energy source. With sources like fossil fuels and nuclear energy, there are consistent and reliable methods to determine how much energy you will get, creating an advantage over wind farms. These researchers have designed a new method that is more accurate and efficient to track wind predictability, allowing them to more accurately determine the amount of energy that can be produced.
The researchers studied historical data on wind speeds for various locations spanning several months. They were able to use this data to create a probability model which allowed them to forecast available wind for power production. Their model showed that more consistent wind speeds were generally related to sites with lower average wind speeds. Their modeling allowed them to draw the conclusion that rather than building wind farms at sites with the highest average wind speeds, as if often done now, those building the sites should instead focus on areas with lower average wind speeds that will have more reliability.
An article by Victoria Hoffner