In order to manage wind generation in its real-time and day-ahead markets, the system operator for the New England area of the U.S., ISO New England Inc.
, has awarded GL Garrad Hassan a two-year contract to provide wind power forecasting services to all wind in the ISO’s footprint, including generation within the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. GL Garrad Hassan is in the beginning stages of this project for the ISO, with plans to begin first forecast delivery in 2012. Accurate forecasting is the key to the management of any generation source that inherently depends on the variability of the weather, requiring advanced short-term prediction of generation to make it approach the manageability of conventional electricity sources.
A Challenging Environment
GL Garrad Hassan has carried out pre-construction energy assessments on many operational and soon-to-be-operational wind projects across the New England region. According to Dr. Craig Collier, Regional Practice Manager for North America’s GH Forecaster service, “New England offers
not only a diversity of topographic features to externally force the wind, but it is among the most complicated regions of the U.S. in terms of its meteorology. While New England is exposed to powerful winter storm systems advancing out of Southern Canada, the Central U.S., and the Atlantic (so-called “Nor’Easters”), it is also prone to hurricanes and severe weather, as evidenced by this year’s devastating tornado outbreak affecting Western Massachusetts.” Indeed, the active summer was followed on its heels by an already active winter. This year’s winter is already off to an early start, with a record-breaking snow storm in late October. Dr. Collier adds, “These events make forecasting challenging even for the most seasoned meteorologists.”