Wind power scoping study

Small wind turbine on house

Delivered by Energy Technology Centre

One of the primary purposes of the MCS Scheme is to give consumers confidence that a product has been properly designed in accordance with recognised Standards and is competently and professionally installed.  Financial projections of a wind scheme are based on the wind turbine’s certified power curve and a site-specific wind speed which is currently underpinned by the NOABL wind speed database. There can be large uncertainties in the use of the NOABL database and the method, which is often then judged as an apparent under-performance of the turbine with a consequential loss of the predicted revenue. Previous work (MIS 3003 document) addressed the physical installation, site assessment and energy estimation calculation. This scoping study was to specifically look at the site assessment and energy calculation aspects, which was where there was most uncertainty and consequently greatest financial risk. The objective of the proposed study was to review the effectiveness of the methods incorporated into MIS 3003 and to gain an understanding of where the current uncertainties lie and to evaluate options for new and improved tools and methodologies. The existing methodology for calculating mean annual wind speed under MCS needed updating and this study has determined the best way to estimate wind speed through available tools and techniques. It could usefully be followed up by further work on development of a robust calculation tool to replace the current methodology.