Impacts of wind farms on surface air temperatures

Edited* by Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved August 13, 2010 (received for review January 15, 2010)
October 4, 2010
107 (42) 17899-17904

Abstract

Utility-scale large wind farms are rapidly growing in size and numbers all over the world. Data from a meteorological field campaign show that such wind farms can significantly affect near-surface air temperatures. These effects result from enhanced vertical mixing due to turbulence generated by wind turbine rotors. The impacts of wind farms on local weather can be minimized by changing rotor design or by siting wind farms in regions with high natural turbulence. Using a 25-y-long climate dataset, we identified such regions in the world. Many of these regions, such as the Midwest and Great Plains in the United States, are also rich in wind resources, making them ideal candidates for low-impact wind farms.

Continue Reading

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Neil Kelley of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for providing the San Gorgonio wind farm data.

References

1
R Wiser, et al. Annual Report on US Wind Power Installation, Costs and Performance Trends: 2006 (US Dept of Energy), pp. 9–10 (2007).
2
DW Keith, et al., The influence of large-scale wind power on global climate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101, 16115–16120 (2004).
3
DB Kirk-Davidoff, DW Keith, On the climate impact of surface roughness anomalies. J Atmos Sci 65, 2215–2234 (2008).
4
MRV Sta. Maria, MZ Jacobson, Investigating the effect of large wind farms on energy in the atmosphere. Energies 2, 816–838 (2009).
5
C Wang, RJ Prinn, Potential climatic impacts and reliability of very large-scale wind farms. Atmos Chem Phys 10, 2053–2061 (2010).
6
S Baidya Roy, SW Pacala, RL Walko, Can large wind farms affect local meteorology? J Geophys Res 109, D19101,. (2004).
7
AS Adams, DW Keith, Wind energy and climate: Modeling the atmospheric impacts of wind energy turbines. EOS Trans AGU 88, Fall Meeting Suppl. (2007).
8
RA Pielke, et al., A comprehensive meteorological modeling system—RAMS. Meteorol Atmos Phys 49, 69–91 (1992).
9
WR Cotton, et al., RAMS 2001: Current status and future directions. Meteorol Atmos Phys 82, 5–29 (2003).
10
RB Stull An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology (Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands), pp. 2 (1993).
11
RB Stull An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology (Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands), pp. 29–32 (1993).
12
K Onogi, et al., The JRA25 reanalyses. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 85, 369–432 (2007).
13
GJ Boer, S Lambert, The energy cycle in atmospheric models. Clim Dynam 30, 371–390 (2008).
14
X Lu, MB McElroy, J Kiviluoma, Global potential for wind-generated electricity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106, 10933–10938 (2009).
15
CN Ekinton, JF Manwell, JG McGowan, Offshore wind farm layout optimization (owflo) project: An introduction. (Copenhagen Offshore Wind Conference, Copenhagen, 2005).
16
MA Lackner, G van Kuik, A comparison of smart rotor control approaches using trailing edge flaps and individual pitch control. Wind Energy 13, 117–134,. (2009).
17
SW Pacala, R Socolow, Stabilization wedges: Solving the climate problem for the next 50 years with current technologies. Science 305, 968–972
18
Global Wind 2008 Report (Global Wind Energy Council, Brussels, 2009).
19
GL Mellor, T Yamada, Development of a turbulence closure model for geophysical fluid problems. Rev Geophys Space Phys 20, 851–875 (1982).
20
TL Clark, A small-scale dynamic model using a terrain-following transformation. J Comput Phys 24, 186–215 (1977).
21
RL Walko, et al., Coupled atmosphere-biophysics-hydrology model for environmental modeling. J Appl Meteorol 39, 931–944 (2000).
22
S Frandsen, On the wind speed reduction in the center of large clusters of wind turbines. J Wind Eng Ind Aerod 39, 251–265 (1992).
23
S Stankovic, N Campbell, A Harries Urban Wind Energy (Earthscan, London), pp. 122–125 (2009).
24
GJ Taylor, Wake and performance measurements on the Lawson-Tancred 17 m horizontal-axis windmill. IEE Proc A 130, 604–612 (1983).
25
RB Stull An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology (Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands), pp. 357–358 (1993).
26
JF Louis, A parametric model of vertical eddy fluxes in the atmosphere. Bound-Lay Meteorol 17, 187–202 (1979).

Information & Authors

Information

Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 107 | No. 42
October 19, 2010
PubMed: 20921371

Classifications

Submission history

Published online: October 4, 2010
Published in issue: October 19, 2010

Keywords

  1. impact assessment
  2. regional climate model
  3. sustainable energy
  4. wind energy
  5. wind power potential

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Neil Kelley of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for providing the San Gorgonio wind farm data.

Notes

*This Direct Submission article had a prearranged editor.

Authors

Affiliations

Somnath Baidya Roy1 [email protected]
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, 105 South Gregory Street, Urbana, IL 61820
Justin J. Traiteur
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, 105 South Gregory Street, Urbana, IL 61820

Notes

1
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected].
Author contributions: S.B.R. designed research; S.B.R. performed research; S.B.R. and J.J.T. analyzed data; and S.B.R. wrote the paper.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Note: The article usage is presented with a three- to four-day delay and will update daily once available. Due to ths delay, usage data will not appear immediately following publication. Citation information is sourced from Crossref Cited-by service.


Citation statements

Altmetrics

Citations

If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click Download.

Cited by

    Loading...

    View Options

    View options

    PDF format

    Download this article as a PDF file

    DOWNLOAD PDF

    Get Access

    Login options

    Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution to get full access on this article.

    Personal login Institutional Login

    Recommend to a librarian

    Recommend PNAS to a Librarian

    Purchase options

    Purchase this article to get full access to it.

    Single Article Purchase

    Impacts of wind farms on surface air temperatures
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 107
    • No. 42
    • pp. 17853-18231

    Media

    Figures

    Tables

    Other

    Share

    Share

    Share article link

    Share on social media