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Richard Turner, Xiaogu Zheng, Neil Gordon, Michael Uddstrom, Greg Pearson, Rilke de Vos, and Stuart Moore

Abstract

Wind data at time scales from 10 min to 1 h are an important input for modeling the performance of wind farms and their impact on many countries’ national electricity systems. Planners need long-term realistic (i.e., meteorologically spatially and temporally consistent) wind-farm data for projects studying how best to integrate wind power into the national electricity grid. In New Zealand, wind data recorded at wind farms are confidential for commercial reasons, however, and publicly available wind data records are for sites that are often not representative of or are distant from wind farms. In general, too, the public sites are at much lower terrain elevations than hilltop wind farms and have anemometers located at 10 m above the ground, which is much lower than turbine hub height. In addition, when available, the mast records from wind-farm sites are only for a short period. In this paper, the authors describe a novel and practical method to create a multiyear 10-min synthetic wind speed time series for 15 wind-farm sites throughout the country for the New Zealand Electricity Commission. The Electricity Commission (known as the Electricity Authority since 1 October 2010) is the agency that has regulatory oversight of the electricity industry and that provides advice to central government. The dataset was constructed in such a way as to preserve meteorological realism both spatially and temporally and also to respect the commercial secrecy of the wind data provided by power-generation companies.

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