Case study

Optimising wind resource measurement campaigns

To help understand uncertainty characteristics of wind resource assessment approaches, we converted the data into a novel, continuous two-dimensional model of wind resource uncertainty.


A major source of uncertainty for offshore wind farm developers, faced with the challenge of balancing CAPEX and OPEX costs against returns, is the sensitivity to wind resource. Modelling activities and offshore measurement devices can be used to reduce the uncertainty bounding of wind resources, but this requires increased initial expenditure. What is the optimum CAPEX investment in wind assessment technology to reduce net present value (NPV) uncertainty over a wind farm’s operational life?

Our work

An up-to-date assessment of uncertainty characteristics of wind resource assessment approaches was made, and data was converted into a novel, continuous two-dimensional model of wind resource uncertainty across the site. This was then used to calculate uncertainty of wind resource as measured by plausible combinations of asset installations. Results from this model informed yield uncertainty and were combined with a Monte-Carlo simulation to calculate NPV and breakeven point at P50 and P90 yields, over the operational lifetime of the wind farm.



Increasing investment was shown to clearly reduce the level of uncertainty, which improves pessimistic P90 break-even and NPV calculations. This analysis will boost investor confidence, aid financial planning, and help prepare long term unit cost estimates for energy produced from this, and future sites. Furthermore, results can be used to target investments in reducing measurement device uncertainty and quantify the benefit of doing so.


Graph showing operational life

Work with Frazer-Nash

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