The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is integrating IT specialist Intertrust’s Planet OS weather data API with its OpenOA software, enabling wind energy planners to estimate energy production more accurately from wind farms.
The joint solution will enable wind energy experts to understand weather variability, which is critical to planning renewable energy systems.
The NREL OpenOA (Operational Assessment) framework is developed to provide references of common wind energy operational analytics methods to address the lack of standardization of these methods in the wind industry. The core feature of OpenOA is a state-of-the-art method for estimating the long-term annual energy production (AEP) of a wind plant based on a few years of operational data. This long-term AEP analysis method can be used to determine the accuracy of preconstruction energy yield estimates, help detect underperformance, and assist with financial transactions involving the wind plant.
OpenOA requires access to data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service’s ERA5 and NASA’s MERRA2 global climate retrospective analysis models. Previously, analysts were required to provide these data themselves when using OpenOA.
In the new version of OpenOA, users can go to Planet OS Datahub, sign up for an API key, and integrate ERA5 and MERRA2 data into their workflow through using the Planet OS API. Through this integration, Planet OS provides this data in a seamless, fast and reliable manner, which is essential to the OpenOA workflow.
Eneli Toodu, climate data technologist at Intertrust, said, “By accurately estimating energy production from wind plants and other operational assets, the combination of OpenOA with Intertrust PlanetOS’s weather data API will be a huge asset for wind farm owners and planners to better understand their operations and projected output.”