On April 4, 2014 the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $2.5 million funding opportunity entitled “Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain.” By researching the physical processes that take place in complex terrain, this funding opportunity will improve foundational weather models by developing short-term wind forecasts for use by industry professionals, specifically in the Western United States. Due to the complexity of Western terrain, predicting varying wind conditions often times proves troublesome.
While past funding opportunities have explored wind speeds throughout flat terrains, the goal of this funding opportunity will be to measure how wind changes course in relation to diverse terrain that encompasses complex rock formations, varying degrees of soil moisture and surface temperatures, as well as other natural occurrences. Being that these environmental conditions make it difficult to increase the confidence in forecasts, this funding opportunity will allow one recipient to study an area of interest with advanced meteorological equipment in order to measure specific physical wind processes.
The awardee will work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to design and implement a field campaign that collects data on a variety of physical processes that impact the wind forecasts used by wind farms, system operators and other industry professionals. By having access to improved forecasts, system operators and industry professionals can ensure that wind turbines will operate at their maximum potential. Data collected during this field measurement campaign will be shared in near real-time with NOAA and used to develop new physics packages for the Weather Research and Forecasting Advanced Research model. Upon completion, these new physics packages will be incorporated into NOAA’s Numerical Weather Prediction models to assess improvements in short-term and possibly day-ahead wind forecasts.
Read the full Funding Opportunity Announcement on the Department of Energy’s Funding Opportunity Exchange. On April 21, 2014 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM EST the Wind Program will hold a live webinar to provide information to potential applicants for this Funding Opportunity Announcement. There is no cost to participate and all applicants are encouraged to attend. To join the webinar, register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/592662257.
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