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Upcoming Funding Opportunity for Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain

February 12, 2014 - 10:47am

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On February 11, 2014 the Wind Program announced a Notice of Intent to issue a funding opportunity entitled "Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain." By researching the physical processes that take place in complex terrain, this funding would 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 would be to measure how wind changes in relation to environmental conditions such as complex rock formations, soil moisture, surface temperature, and other natural occurrences.

By researching the physical processes in complex terrain that drive wind speeds and wind ramp events, the Wind Program is seeking proposals that improve short-term (0 to 15 hour) wind forecasts with possible implications for the day-ahead to be used by the U.S. wind industry. Increasing  confidence in wind forecasts is challenging, particularly in areas of complex terrain where several factors can play a role in rapidly altering wind speed and direction. The intent of this funding opportunity is to 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 Notice of Intent on the Department of Energy’s Funding Opportunity Exchange.

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