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A methodology for predicting wind power variations one or more hours ahead is developed. This prediction method is required for unit commitment and generation control strategies that have been developed to provide economic and reliable operation for utilities with large wind penetrations. The methodology utilizes a set of meteorological towers that encircle the wind turbine clusters at a radius of 100 miles. The prediction methodology must determine (1) the direction of propagation of the meteorological event, (2) the subset of meteorological towers that are in the direction of motion of the meteorological event and thus are to be used in the prediction, (3) the delays between the prediction sites in the wind turbine cluster and the selected subset of reference sites in the ring of meteorological towers to be used for prediction, and (4) the parameters of the predictive model that predicts wind speed based on weighted delayed wind speed measurements at the selected reference sites.