December 15, 2011
In the last six months more than twenty wind farms in the UK have moved to leading renewable energy consultancy group, Natural Power, to provide their wind farm production forecasting service, ForeSite for energy trading or grid notification purposes. The sites total more than 1GW of wind power capacity across the UK.
ForeSite is a powerful and accurate wind generation forecasting service which provides forecasts of wind generation at half hourly intervals up to six days ahead, applying statistical probability to the forecast to assist decision making. ForeSite is the fusion of a global weather forecast model, provided by leading independent meteorological forecaster meteoblue® (visit www.meteoblue.com), with historical wind farm production data, wind modelling and Natural Power’s industry leading wind analysis and operational management expertise.
Energy traders require wind power generation forecasts for each wind farm location to plan a day ahead of production when trading power in the GB electricity market. Inaccurate power forecasts can lead to over or under-production, which needs to be compensated through increased or reduced output from conventional generation within the traders own portfolio. If this is not possible, the commitment is bought out on the short term electricity market at significant financial risk. Accurate forecasts are therefore a business imperative for energy traders as the smallest increase in forecast accuracy can result in significant additional revenue.
ForeSite is also utilised for grid notification under Balancing Mechanism (BM) regulations, where operators are required to provide accurate Production Notifications (PN) predicting expected generation levels at each half hour interval days in advance up to gate closure 1.5 hours from real time. Recent grid management events in the UK have highlighted the need for greater visibility and precision in wind generation forecasts and generators are now being challenged on the accuracy of their PN with curtailment instructions being issued by National Grid to reduce wind farm output in line with submitted PN levels. The loss of revenue from such events can be significant. Alternatively, failure to make a reasonable attempt to forecast production, constantly submitting a PN at the maximum generation level, can ultimately result in the right to generate power being removed through non compliance with the grid code.
Oisin Brady, Director for R&D at Natural Power commented: “Since ForeSite’s release earlier in the year there has been an increasing demand from wind farm operators resulting in more than 25 sites now benefiting from our accurate, high quality forecasts. We have successfully validated forecasts against recorded power production, and can share this analysis with all future users – our clients can therefore be confident in ForeSite’s performance and ability to add value to their operations.”
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