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Understanding & Meeting Needs of the Renewable Energy Industry Priorities, Expectations and Roles 2009 AMS Summer Community Meeting August 12, 2009 Norman,

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding & Meeting Needs of the Renewable Energy Industry Priorities, Expectations and Roles 2009 AMS Summer Community Meeting August 12, 2009 Norman,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding & Meeting Needs of the Renewable Energy Industry Priorities, Expectations and Roles 2009 AMS Summer Community Meeting August 12, 2009 Norman, Oklahoma Mark Ahlstrom, CEO

2 2 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved WindLogics Background Founded in 1989 by supercomputer architects Applied meteorology focus Assessment, forecasting, operations and integration of renewable energy Intelligent solutions for the worlds energy industry

3 3 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved NextEra Energy Resources (formerly FPL Energy) WindLogics became a subsidiary of FPL Energy in September 2006 NextEra is the largest renewable energy provider in North American Wind - 65 wind plants (over 6,400 MW) Solar - seven solar facilities (310 MW) Nuclear, hydro and gas plants More than 17,000 MW of generation Subsidiary of FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) 2008 revenues more than $16 billion

4 4 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Electric Utility Perceptions of Wind & Solar Energy Reliability is job #1 Wind and solar may be sources of free fuel, but how useful is an intermittent source of power? In the context of traditional operating practices, both the variability of the power delivery and the uncertainty of the schedule are perceived to add risk and costs to the system If we must live with variability, cant you at least provide an accurate schedule (forecast) of the power delivery?

5 5 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Complexity of Wind Power Output Power proportional to cube of wind speed Complex interactions with localized flows and between wind turbines themselves Wind variability in all time scales Shear Diurnals Long-term inter-annual variability Even with a perfect weather/wind forecast, the power forecast will have errors that are perceived to be higher than what the power industry is used to seeing

6 6 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved The Unfortunate Reality For a large portion of the U.S. power grid, the system operator is getting their wind forecast from a German company

7 7 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved The Unfortunate Reality For a large portion of the U.S. power grid, the system operator is getting their wind forecast from a German company using ECMWF

8 8 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Needs from Government & Academia Enhanced weather data networks Improved boundary layer understanding Complex flow regimes (low-level jets, stable layer flows, etc.) Models tuned to lowest 200 meters - with complex terrain & forest Highly instrumented test & validation sites Improvements to NWP models Collaborative research plans and roadmaps that optimize assets between and among the public and private sector

9 9 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Roles of Public and Private Sector The general policies from other market sectors seem quite appropriate (for example, the NWS support to DOTs): NWS has a commitment to public safety Protecting life and property Understanding evolution and timing of hazardous weather events Commitment to work with the private sector Beyond the scope Site-specific forecasts not related to public safety, life or property Specialized weather support or customized consulting services Customized products which are not directly weather related

10 10 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Research Projects Research benefits from real-world input and real scenarios, so joint projects between government and academic research centers, the private sector and private companies are good Research projects affiliated with government labs… Open for public review - regular technical review committee meetings Designed to advance research topics Avoid any perception of delivering a customized, commercial solution to a private company Be very mindful of overpromising results An example with negative perceptions NCAR RAL / Xcel Energy project

11 11 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved The Risk and Danger Unrealistic expectations, while well meaning and sincere, can harm the industry By emphasizing weather forecasting and failing have deep understanding of the business realities, disappointing business results could strengthen the perception that renewables are intermittent and unreliable An extremely high level of involvement, integration and support will be needed to solve this problem in the utility control room

12 12 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Role of Private Sector We strongly believe in the role of the private sector in adding domain-specific value. Perception of results Technology transfer Commercialization Support

13 13 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Perception is Reality A fragile time in the renewables space Perceptions are critical – in both utility industry and public For the electric utility industry, this business transition is extremely complex Perceived failures to achieve expectations may be better handled in the private sector Dont become the excuse… We need renewables!

14 14 Copyright 2008, WindLogics Inc. All Rights Reserved Mark Ahlstrom, CEO Questions & Discussion


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