WIND

The Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit

Overview

The WIND Toolkit is a combination of three datasets that reflect the ramping characteristics, spatial and temporal correlations, capacity factors of simulated wind plants, and are time synchronized with available load profiles. The datasets include a meteorological dataset based on mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction model data, a wind power production dataset based on mesoscale model data, and a power and wind speed forecast dataset. These sets were created using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model run on a 2-km grid over 126,000 locations across the contiguous United States at a five-minute resolution with accuracy mimicked by reforecasting the years 2007–2013 using industry-standard techniques. This combination offers vast improvement to existing wind datasets by significantly expanding the geographic area considered, the number of sites included, and the temporal resolution of the data to aid in subhourly modeling of power system operations. Moreover, the WIND Toolkit's creation also followed the latest wind energy research science and current industry standards.

Objective

Ease of use and data accessibility were crucial requirements for the WIND Toolkit. As such, wind power, 100-m wind speed and direction, 2-m temperature, surface air pressure and air density, and capacity factor data for selected sites can be downloaded at http://maps.nrel.gov/wind_prospector. The toolkit employs a graphical user interface, along with an Application Programming Interface (API), that provides access to data using innate search methods. Because of the extensive data and storage size limitations, an extended meteorological dataset at every grid point is stored at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Key Findings
  • The largest, most complete grid integration wind dataset publicly available to date.
  • Simulated wind speed and power data for the entire continental United States.
  • Meteorological data validated with observational data.
  • Validation results indicate the data are a satisfactory foundation for future wind energy integration studies.
  • Simple, open access to the full power dataset via a web interface.
  • Toolkit provides an important resource for utilities, independent system operators, and academics performing studies of future wind power deployments.

Data Available
  • Time (UTC)
  • Wind speed (m/s)
  • Wind direction (degrees)
  • Temperature (K)
  • Relative humidity (%)
  • Barometric pressure (Pa)
  • Air density (kg/m3)
  • Wind power (MW)
  • Wind power forecasts (MW)
  • Precipitation rate
  • Solar radiation
  • Atmospheric stability
  • Skin temperature
  • Upward heat flux
  • Boundary layer height
  • u* in similarity theory
  • Capacity factors
Reference

Draxl C, A Clifton, B-M Hodge, and J McCaa. 2015. "The Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit." Applied Energy 151:355-366. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.03.121.