AWS Truepower LLC, a renewable energy consulting and information services firm, has released the latest installment of its windTrends Bulletin, a quarterly analytical wind report.
The report reviews wind patterns in the U.S. and Europe for the fourth quarter of 2010 based on AWS Truepower's windTrends meteorological data set.
In the U.S., near-neutral North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific-North American patterns, a strong La Nina – a negative El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – and a strong Bermuda high promoted windier-than-normal conditions for wind power plants throughout the Ohio River Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.
‘In particular, wind power plants in Texas and along the Eastern Seaboard continued to see healthy wind resources, though the upper Great Plains experienced below-normal conditions,’ says Michael Brower, chief technical officer at AWS Truepower. ‘Overall, wind performance in 2010 was mixed. While a large swath of the upper Great Plains and Midwest, stretching from Montana in the west down to Nebraska and across to Ohio, ended up somewhat below normal, the deviations were not unusual, and the rest of the country was largely at or above normal.’
Conversely, the report reveals that the majority of Europe continued to see relatively low wind speeds, with the most affected areas – Iceland, Ireland, the U.K. and the western coast of Scandinavia – experiencing average wind speeds ranging from 10% to 15% below normal.
The British Isles saw the most dramatic deviations, reaching 20% below normal in some areas. These patterns reflected a succession of high-pressure systems over the British Isles, northern France, Germany and Scandinavia, which blocked or diverted the usual winter storms.
SOURCE: AWS Truepower