A new study shows that more accurate wind forecasts generated by a NOAA weather model is saving the utilities, and hence the consumers, big money.
While wind is abundant, it is also intermittent. Utilities need accurate wind forecasts in order to gauge electricity production - and to determine when they need to generate or purchase energy from other sources when winds abate. Poor forecasts can cost a utility a lot of money, and those costs are then passed on to consumers. Accurate forecasts, however, can result in more efficient generation management and substantial savings. But it's not always clear what those savings are.
A study published by the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, economists and scientists from Colorado State University and NOAA’s Global Systems Laboratory puts a number on just how impactful NOAA’s HRRR model has been. The research team calculated that increasingly accurate weather forecasts over the last decade have netted consumers over $150 million per year in energy savings.
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