Offshore wind power simulation by using WRF in the central coast of Chile

Highlights

First off-shore wind power potential by using WRF simulation were estimated in the central coast of Chile.

Wind field simulated at different heights are coincident with in-situ measurements.

High capacity factor and wind energy generation were estimated.

Abstract

This paper presents the first estimate of offshore wind power potential for the central coast of Chile. For this purpose, wind speed data from in-situ stations and ERA-Interim reanalysis were used to simulate wind fields at regional level by means of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Wind field simulations were performed at different heights (20, 30, 40 and 140 m.a.s.l.) and a spatial resolution of 3 × 3 km for the period from February 1, 2006 to January 31, 2007, which comprised the entire series of in-situ data available. The results show an RMSE and r2 of 2.2 m s−1 and 0.55 respectively for the three heights simulated as compared to in-situ data. Based on the simulated wind data, the wind power for the study area was estimated at ∼1000 W m−2 at a height of 140 m.a.s.l. For a typical wind turbine of 8 MW generator, the estimated capacity factor exceeds 40%, with an average annual generation of ∼30 GWh. Offshore wind power in Chile is an emerging renewable energy source that is as yet still under-developed, these estimates help to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge about Chile’s true renewable energy potential.

Keywords

  • Wind simulation;
  • Offshore;
  • Wind power;
  • WRF;
  • Chile

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