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Overestimating Wind Power Generation: From the UK to New York State

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- June 6, 2011

Wind generation as an intermittent power source adds to the total variability of a regional grid system. A number of studies have been completed that model and analyze wind profiles by region with the intent of better understanding how high penetrations of wind energy might impact system reliability and what steps could be taken to minimize the impacts.

In most cases, these studies are based on available wind data (speed, direction, timing) collected over many years–the type data used by developers forecasting project performance prior to construction. These wind studies are also used by legislators and regulators when evaluating policies that mandate renewable energy development.

Growing evidence from both sides of the Atlantic indicates that performance models based on wind data often promise levels of generation substantially above actual wind power output.