Inaccurate Resource Estimation Affects Critical Project Decisions
Wind speed and Solar irradiation are the primary drivers of what a wind or solar energy plant can generate at any given site, respectively. Often project siting decisions are made based on long-term monthly average datasets that are transformed into hourly datasets using standard profiles. This results in inadequate understanding of the resource potential and its intermittency at a location leading to wrong siting decisions resulting in a potential revenue loss of millions of dollars over the life of the project.
To better understand the prospects of a wind or solar energy plant at any location, it is very important to identify the long-term historical resource datasets at a very high temporal and spatial resolution – preferably at an hourly or sub-hourly resolution. Only with access to such extensive data, it is possible to fully appreciate the volatility of the resource and to develop different probability of exceedance levels that can assist a project developer to understand the power generation potential at different confidence intervals. Limited availability of ground weather stations, however, exacerbates this issue further.