Presentation Notes - The International Renewable Energy Agency

Speaker Bio:
Martina Dabo, MSc Renewable Energy
Managing Director & Chief Technology Officer, QiDO Energy Development
Ms. Dabo is the Managing Director & Chief Technology Officer of QiDO
Energy Development GmbH, providing technical, financial and project
management services, project development and research & development for
the renewable energy sector.
Previously Ms. Dabo has been the Director of the Wind Assessment division
and the Director of Business Development at CUBE Engineering GmbH.
Before joining CUBE, Ms. Dabo was the Program Manager for Renewable
Energy Systems at TDX Power, a major utility in Alaska, USA. Prior to
joining TDX, she managed the Wind Program for the State of Alaska. While
working for the State of Alaska, Ms. Dabo was responsible for the State
Wind Program, shaping a renewable energy fund of 200 million US and
supporting its implementation.
She has experience in wind and renewable energy project evaluations and
consulted large national utilities, project developers, governments and other
stakeholders in Germany and abroad supporting the implementation of
renewable energy technology.
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Prior engagements were as Project Manager for a wind farm developer in
Maine, USA and Business Development Manager in the aviation industry
in Maine, USA.
Ms. Dabo has a Master of Science with distinction in Renewable Energy
Technology from the University of Ulster, UK. Ms. Dabo holds a commercial
pilot license and worked for over 10 years as pilot for the German airline
Presentation Notes:
Slide 2
The presentation will cover following topics –
1. The problem of small project wind measurements
2. Wind resource assessment standards
3. Today‘s solutions for small project wind resource assessment
4. The time is right to develop a new standard
5. Small wind power curve testing did it too
6. Conclusion
7. Further ideas for island nations
Slide 4
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The wind campaign cost for small projects present a large portion of the
overall project cost in a phase where funding is harder to obtain. In a
small project about 10-15% of the overall project cost can typically be
accounted for the wind measurement campaign, whereas in a large project
this portion is less than 1%. This presents a large hurdle for a small project
developer to overcome, especially in the sensitive phase of project feasibility
evaluations where the investment is high risk and the project’s success and
implementation is not yet guaranteed.
Slide 5
The time to develop a small project is usually quicker than a large project,
due to lesser permitting hurdles, lower cost, smaller footprint, and less
equipment/material/resources to manage. The only competitive advantage
small projects have over the larger ones’. This competitive advantage is
reduced with the requirement of a 12 months wind campaign.
Slide 6
Reason for this rigor on small wind is the fact that an inaccuracy in wind
speed can result in high uncertainties of wind energy yield. As is
commonly known the wind speed influence the yield by the cube (x^3).
However much more factors are part of the uncertainty assessment of a
wind study, i.e. length of historic data, quality of measurement. ADB states
; page 4) that an inaccuracy of wind speed of +/- 5% can result in an
inaccuracy of AEP of +/- 10%. This is in most cases even conservative.
What is not regarded in this argumentation is the fact that most small
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wind projects are part of a hybrid system, where AEP does not
automatically translate 1:1 into revenues, due to other non-related system
losses or savings, i.e diesel fuel, dump load benefits such as water pumping.
In any case even an inaccuracy of +/-15% can be dealt with if adequately
incorporated into the financial model. In most projects even with this
inaccuracy a viable business case can still be realized as usually the cost
of (avoided) energy is rather high in typical small wind locations.
Slide 8
There are no international standards for wind resource assessments. Several
guidelines and recommendations from interest groups exist that target
specifically wind resource assessment. The most commonly referenced
standard, the IEC 61400-1 is not intended for wind resource assessment
but rather for wind turbine design. Certain elements from this standard
are borrowed and used out of context. The methodologies used by
consultants are based on these elements and/or on the wind resource expert
guidelines. But each consultant has a certain leeway on how to interpret
these standards and how to apply the guidelines and recommendations.
Slide 10
The industry standard approach for a ‘bankable’ assessment of the
potential energy yield of a wind farm requires the following main features:
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Wind measurement following the international standards and
recommendations regarding the height of mast, quality of recording
instruments, and their configuration on the monitoring device
Long-term extrapolation of measured data; in general, the measuring
period should be at least one year, with high availability of data, in order
to describe as best as possible the total characteristics of wind.
Wind field modeling made with recognized software like WindPro,
WAsP etc.
Wind turbine performance modeling
Uncertainty assessment of the above aspects
A common term for the process flow of wind energy yield assessment is the
MCP approach:
Measure → Correlate → Predict
Slide 11
The existing tools are based on similar approaches that compromise time
and budget for small wind resource project development with required
accuracy and reduction of uncertainties for the confidence of project
They are similar to the methodology for large turbines, with the difference
to replace actual met mast with ‘virtual’ met mast (commercially available
product), or similar forms of verifying the local wind. The rest of the
methodology (MCP) remains the same.
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With a battery of case studies in different climates, geographical and
topographic regions, one can aim to showcase the relative accuracy of the
solutions of today and raise the awareness and confidence of funding
institutions to accept this approach.
Slide 12
As presented on the previous slide, the approach for a ‘bankable’ wind
assessment of the potential energy yield of a small wind farm follows the
exact same MCP sequence as the one for large scale. The only difference is
the use of virtual met mast (VMM) data instead of wind measurement data.
It will be a matter of time that more data will be available to verify the
accuracy of the VVM and more sophisticated modeling will increase the
quality of the synthesized data.
Additionally one could perform ‚spot checks‘with LIDAR measurement. If
available locally on a rental basis, this could be a cost-effective
alternative of a (semi) permanent installation of a met mast. Of course the
longer the measurement period, the better the correlation results, but also
short term measurements can already give some (limited) insights.
The quality of the VMM depends largely on the geography and topography
of the location. In general the more complex a site it in terms of topography
and topology the less accurate the VVM data are. In addition ‘remote’
locations that do not have a dense network of meteo stations (used to verify
the accuracy of the mesoscale modeling for the VVM) the less accurate the
VVM data are as well. Additional local data should be obtained to verify
the VVM data. Examples for local data could be from sites that typically
collect data for their purposes such as hospitals, industrial sites,
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environmental measurement stations, etc. In essence the use of VVMs is the
only ‘non-standard’ element in the otherwise ‘standardized’ wind resource
assessment sequence. Hence the introduction of a new small wind standard
is not be a big leap of faith.
Slide 13
One example of a validation process for virtual data from US based AWS
Truepower. More information can be found on their website.
Slide 14
Another example of a validation procedure is shown and introduced by
the French base company Meteolien. They have developed a wind resource
assessment methodology targeting specifically small wind turbines. In
cooperation with meteofrance they have developed a comprehensive
database for France.
Slide 16
The time is right, and the industry needs to act upon accepted wind
resource assessment standards for small projects that do not penalize and
block small project development. All elements are there today, from a real
and viable need, funding, high quality solutions with acceptable
uncertainties, professional project developers and willing project sponsors.
All that is need now is one umbrella that merges these elements and
pushes for an industry accepted and internationally accepted small project
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wind resource assessment standard. The result will be rewarding for all
stakeholders and will catapult the small project developments into wind
revolution 2.0. The development of such standard needs stringent trials
and verification by experts around the world, but under the auspice of
one potent and influential organization it can be done within a year as
the main work has already been done. The time is right.
Slide 18
That such a paradigm shift can be done is shown with the example of
power curve testing. As of 2 years ago the international standard for power
curve testing, IEC 61400-12, was a cumbersome and stringent procedure. It
still is. But at least the testing environment has been adapted for small
scale turbines in such a way that no met tower is required anymore for the
power curve testing on site. The rest of the test batteries still remain the
same for both scale project, which is necessary in order to give a good
indication of appropriate turbine operations during their entire lifetime.
An overview of the tests can be seen on this slide.
Slide 19
The mentioned new standard for small wind turbines is called 6140012/2. The wind resource is measured with the nacelle anemometer. The
nacelle anemometer type and its influence from the nacelle is calibrated
at a test site. The results of the disturbances from the nacelle as well as
from the terrain are identified based on data from installed met towers at
the test site. A transfer function is created that can be applied as a
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correction factor to the nacelle anemometers at the project location. This is
the basic idea in a nutshell, the overview of the procedure can be seen on
this slide. More details are in the standard itself.
Slide 21
The conclusion is -> start now, because:
Alternative solutions today for wind resource assessment without wind met
masts result in somewhat higher but acceptable uncertainties, and are a
cost effective substitute.
The small industry has a need for quality, affordable and timely wind
resource assessment, the funding institutions are willing to sponsor,
developers can implement project professionally.
A willing champion has to be identified under whose umbrella a group of
experts can validate the existing solutions, develop and implement a new
standard that is internationally recognized.
Slide 23
Raising awareness of the challenges of small project development is the
first steps, mostly already underway with events such as this one, but can
be also conducted on a more regional or local level. Usually those local
awareness outreach efforts are driven by a project developer. This adds to
the project cost and in the end helps all other developments in the region.
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To locate those local workshops at a more regional level would benefit all
project developments in the area.
Further ideas to foster small project development in island nation is to
group needed equipment, expertise, staff, and funding together and manage
those on a revolving loan basis at little or no cost to the members. Until the
small wind resource assessment standard is officially recognized there is
still a need for onsite wind measurement. Either for projects and/or for the
verification of the virtual data. Wind measurement towers and LIDAR
could be purchased and distributed for a limited time and then moved to
the next project site.
A regional renewable energy fund could bridge the gap of necessary
upfront or Greenfield funding and project funding.
Finally a circuit rider program that sends ‘fast response teams’ of experts
where a project is stalled due to lack of knowledge or expertise can help to
get projects toward implementation where otherwise they would be
All of the above ideas already exist somewhere in the world in one form or
the other but deserve to gain wider attention as they can be quite efficient
in fostering small project development.
Slide 24
Thank you for your attention. Do not hesitate to contact me anytime for
further information:
Managing Director | Chief Technology Officer
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QiDo Energy Development GmbH
+49 173 4120095 | +49 30 755 488 00 | [email protected]
Grünbergerstr. 84 | 10245 Berlin | Germany
The time is right for an international small project wind resource
assessment standard
All elements are in place
A champion organization is needed under whose umbrella this
standard can be developed and implemented
The standard would reduce unnecessary burdens for small project
development and foster growth
It has been successfully done for small wind turbine power curve
Other ideas to foster small projects exist
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