ELNIÑO
STILLS WINTER WINDS ACROSS
THE SOUTHERN CANADIAN PRAIRIES
(AND THAT’S BOTH GOOD AND BAD NEWS
FOR THE WIND ENERGY IN...
3,432




                          wind energy (MW)
                                                             2,246


...
INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY
      “ add[s] significantly to the
        uncertainty in predicating the
        energy output of...
INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY


         “ not well understood ”
Uncorrected wind speed records contain discontinuities caused by non-climatic effects




                                 ...
Wan, H. Wang, X.L. and Swail, V.R. (2010).
Homogenization and trend analysis of Canadian
near-surface winds. Journal of Cl...
mean annual wind speed
@ 10 m
Wind farms on the Canadian Prairies produce nearly one gigawatt of electricity




photo: Andy van der Raadt
mean annual wind speed
@ 10 m
Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
Mean winter wind speed, southern Canadian Prairies




                                 Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL,...
Low-wind winters (1954 to 2006)

      1969 • 1978 • 1983
      1993 • 1995 • 1998


                                  leg...
wind anomalies during the 1998 winter




                                  legend not to scale
SST and geopotential height anomalies during low-wind winters
Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
scalar wind anomalies
@ 250 millibars
scalar wind anomalies
@ 250 millibars
“   [The next strong El Niño] ... may also test the ability of
    Prairie wind farms to maintain expected energy outputs
...
Sea-surface temperature anomalies during the 2009-2010 winter
Scalar wind anomalies @ 250 mb during the 2009-2010 winter
“   ...our wind resources in the quarter were down
    approximately 30 percent, compared to what we
    would see in a no...
ELNIÑO
STILLS WINTER WINDS ACROSS
THE SOUTHERN CANADIAN PRAIRIES
(AND THAT’S BOTH GOOD AND BAD NEWS
FOR THE WIND ENERGY IN...
El Nino stills winter winds across the southern Canadian Prairies
El Nino stills winter winds across the southern Canadian Prairies
El Nino stills winter winds across the southern Canadian Prairies
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El Nino stills winter winds across the southern Canadian Prairies

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El Nino stills winter winds across the southern Canadian Prairies

  1. 1. ELNIÑO STILLS WINTER WINDS ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CANADIAN PRAIRIES (AND THAT’S BOTH GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR THE WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY) SCOTT ST. GEORGE STEPHEN WOLFE
  2. 2. 3,432 wind energy (MW) 2,246 1,770 1,460 684 444 322 198 236 137 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 Source: Canadian Wind Energy Association
  3. 3. INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY “ add[s] significantly to the uncertainty in predicating the energy output of a wind farm at a particular location during its projected lifetime. ”
  4. 4. INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY “ not well understood ”
  5. 5. Uncorrected wind speed records contain discontinuities caused by non-climatic effects Source: Wan et al., Journal of Climate, 2010
  6. 6. Wan, H. Wang, X.L. and Swail, V.R. (2010). Homogenization and trend analysis of Canadian near-surface winds. Journal of Climate 23, 1209-1225.
  7. 7. mean annual wind speed @ 10 m
  8. 8. Wind farms on the Canadian Prairies produce nearly one gigawatt of electricity photo: Andy van der Raadt
  9. 9. mean annual wind speed @ 10 m
  10. 10. Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
  11. 11. Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
  12. 12. Mean winter wind speed, southern Canadian Prairies Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
  13. 13. Low-wind winters (1954 to 2006) 1969 • 1978 • 1983 1993 • 1995 • 1998 legend not to scale
  14. 14. wind anomalies during the 1998 winter legend not to scale
  15. 15. SST and geopotential height anomalies during low-wind winters
  16. 16. Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
  17. 17. Source: St. George and Wolfe, GRL, 2009
  18. 18. scalar wind anomalies @ 250 millibars
  19. 19. scalar wind anomalies @ 250 millibars
  20. 20. “ [The next strong El Niño] ... may also test the ability of Prairie wind farms to maintain expected energy outputs during a prolonged interval of unusually weak winds. ” Geophysical Research Letters December 2009
  21. 21. Sea-surface temperature anomalies during the 2009-2010 winter
  22. 22. Scalar wind anomalies @ 250 mb during the 2009-2010 winter
  23. 23. “ ...our wind resources in the quarter were down approximately 30 percent, compared to what we would see in a normal year. As a result, expected production from our wind facilities was lower by ” roughly 200 gigawatt hours. Stephen Snyder President and Chief Executive Officer April 27, 2010
  24. 24. ELNIÑO STILLS WINTER WINDS ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CANADIAN PRAIRIES (AND THAT’S BOTH GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR THE WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY) SCOTT ST. GEORGE STEPHEN WOLFE

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