The effects of geographical distribution on the reliability of wind energy
We examine the effects of geographic distribution of wind power plants (WPPs) on the reliability of electrical output within the Midwestern United States. North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) data are extrapolated to 80 m using the power law and used to characterize the wind resource at 108 NARR grid points corresponding to existing WPPs. These sites are then organized, on the basis of nearest neighbors, into networks ranging from single WPPs to the full network of 108 WPPs. For each network, a suite of statistics is computed and used to characterize energy reliability as it relates to the number of WPPs within, and the area enclosed by, the network. The results demonstrate that WPP dispersion reduces variability and thereby improves the reliability of electrical output from WPPs. As scale increases, marginal improvements in reliability diminish, but there is no saturation of benefits on the scales considered here. The results are combined with wind resource information to identify sites that can further improve reliability for aggregated wind power in the study region.
Fisher, S., J. Schoof, C. Lant, M. Therrell, 2013. The effect of geographical distribution on the reliability of wind energy. Applied Geography 40:83-89.