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Assessment and validation of wind power potential at convection-permitting resolution for the Caribbean region of Colombia

Samuel Andrés Gil Ruiz, Julio Eduardo Cañón Barriga, J. Alejandro Martínez
Energy 2022 v.244 pp. 123127
Weibull statistics, air, coasts, energy, models, troposphere, wind, wind power, Caribbean, Colombia
High-resolution wind power assessments, validated with ground data, are key for wind energy projects in regions of promising potential such as the Colombian Caribbean. This study assesses the annual wind power for this region at convection-permitting resolution, using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with two nested domains (9 km and 3 km) and 50 vertical levels with 15 min outputs for the northern coast of South America. WRF simulations with three planetary boundary layer schemes (YSU, MYJ and QNSE) perform considerably better than ERA5 reanalysis at representing ground observations of near surface winds in the months with the strongest and weakest winds. WRF accurately simulates phase and amplitude of observed wind diurnal cycles, extreme values, and hodographs in terms of correlations, standard deviations, bias and Weibull distributions. The QNSE scheme served to validate the Wind Power Density (WPD) observed at ground stations, using variations of air density to improve the calculations. The assessment shows areas within the domain with WPD at 100 m up to 1200 Wm-2 onshore and 2000 Wm-2 offshore, with annual values above 400 Wm-2. In this regard, WRF provides a more detailed framework of the atmospheric dynamics for this part of the Caribbean region.