wind turbines photo, credit: NREL
Photo courtesy of NREL
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Contact: Jim Wilczak

The Wind Forecast Improvement Project Begins


July 18, 2011

The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) officially began on July 18th. This year-long experiment is a collaboration between NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), two private wind energy companies and academic research institutions. DOE is sponsoring this research to improve the skill of NOAA's short-term weather forecast models at predicting fundamental weather parameters (such as wind speed, turbulence intensity, and icing conditions) that impact wind energy generation. Over the last month the Physical Sciences Division has deployed a regional network of upper-air remote sensing observing systems in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Remote sensing, tall tower, and nacelle data sets will be assimilated into NOAA's developmental, rapid-update High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) numerical weather prediction model. WFIP is one of NOAA's efforts to help the country achieve 80 percent "clean energy" by 2035, a goal established by President Obama in his January 2011 State of the Union address and his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.