Effects of climate oscillations on wind resource variability in the United States

Abstract

Natural climate variations in the United States wind resource are assessed by using cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions (CSEOFs) to decompose wind reanalysis data. Compared to approaches that average climate signals or assume stationarity of the wind resource on interannual time scales, the CSEOF analysis isolates variability associated with specific climate oscillations, as well as their modulation from year to year. Contributions to wind speed variability from the modulated annual cycle (MAC) and the El Nin˜ o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are quantified, and information provided by the CSEOF analysis further allows the spatial variability of these effects to be determined. The impacts of the MAC and ENSO on the wind resource are calculated at existing wind turbine locations in the United States, revealing variations in the wind speed of up to 30% at individual sites. The results presented here have important implications for predictions of wind plant power output and siting.

Publication
Geophysical Research Letters
Peter Hamlington
Peter Hamlington
Associate Professor

Peter is an associate professor in the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and the principal investigator of the Turbulence and Energy Systems Laboratory.

Spencer Alexander
Spencer Alexander
Senior Software Engineer