The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) will install the first of 14 anemometers in the Pacific Northwest region specifically designed to forecast for wind turbines. The installation will take place at BPA's Troutdale substation just off the Columbia River Gorge, an area known for its strong east winds.
The project is part of a much larger plan to help wind developers more accurately forecast this typically unpredictable energy resource, according to BPA.
As part of a meteorological system, the anemometers will allow power schedulers to more accurately match up resources with demand and in a much shorter time frame. That will reduce the need to store extra water behind the dams in reserve, freeing it up for fish operations, secondary power sales and the generation of electricity.
BPA is expected to complete installation of the wind measurement units by October. The agency plans to develop a complete wind forecasting system by March 2010, and by September 2010, BPA dispatchers will have display screens of real-time wind generation and next-hour wind forecasts.
SOURCE: Bonneville Power Administration