The New European Wind Atlas (NEWA) project celebrated its kick-off meeting last 19 March at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Risø campus in Roskilde.
This project aims at delivering, over the next five years, the best database of wind characteristics throughout Europe and a new generation of flow models to exploit this database.
The NEWA project is funded through an ERA-Net Plus instrument, of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, leveraging national funding from eight EU Member States and Associated Countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. The total budget is EUR 14 million, of which one third is based on European Commission’s funds and two thirds is based on national funds. More than 30 institutions participate in the project, coordinated by DTU, including Fraunhofer-IWES and the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) as work package leaders.
This initiative will contribute to a significant reduction of the cost of wind energy by mitigating risks related to the design and operation of large-scale wind turbines based on enhanced knowledge of wind conditions. Financial risks on wind energy deployment will be better assessed based on a systematic model validation and uncertainty quantification wind atlas methodology. To this end, the project plans to carry out high-fidelity experiments in various terrain and wind climate conditions across Europe, from offshore and coastal winds in Northern Europe, to forested, complex terrain and cold climate conditions in Germany, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. These experiments will be based on conventional mast instrumentation as well as extensive use of remote sensing capabilities from the WindScanner European infrastructure network. A call for wind data will be also opened for met offices and wind industry to contribute with existing measurements in order to increase the validation range of the wind atlas.
A probabilistic wind atlas methodology will be developed, based on a multi-model ensemble of simulations, in order to produce the best long-term estimates plus uncertainties of atmospheric variables relevant for spatial planning and wind farm design applications, notably: wind resource, vertical wind shear and veer, turbulence intensity, extreme winds and wind predictability. An open-source platform will interconnect the different models participating in the model-chain using common interfacing standards.
The NEWA consortium is open to international collaboration to further strengthen its know-how and enhance the impact at a global level. The atlas will benefit from and supplement the development of the Global Wind Atlas coordinated and supervised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Stakeholder consultation will be pursued through European Technology platforms like EERA-Wind and TPWind, as well as the IEC 61400-15 working group, in charge of the development of a standard for wind resource assessment, energy yield and site suitability. Strong synergies are found with the Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) research initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) in relation to high-fidelity modeling, experimental campaigns and model evaluation. The International Energy Agency (IEA-Wind) Task 31 ‘Wakebench’ will be the target forum to extend model benchmarking activities to a wider range of models and coordinate a joint international model evaluation process.
In summary, NEWA starts as one of the most important wind energy projects to date, with the ambition of developing a new generation of tools for spatial planning and wind farm design, based on a long-term research roadmap established on the basis experimental campaigns of unprecedented quality.