The Greek transmission operator HTSO has contracted a UK-based international wind energy consultancy, Garrad Hassan, to provide short term forecasting of wind production for no less than the entire country under a three year project jointly funded by the Greek government and the EU Regional Development Fund. Garrad Hassan will use its GH Forecaster service to forecast the output from one hour to 48 hours ahead for the 750 MW of wind plant currently operating in Greece and for any new plants that come online. While acknowledging that Greece is a new market for the company and has a particularly complex terrain, Garrad Hassan's Andrew Tindal says he expects the program to produce day-ahead forecasts with an average deviation (mean absolute error) of 6-12%. The information will enable the HTSO, which has no forecasting ability of its own, to verify load estimates submitted by individual producers, enabling it to better balance supply and demand. It will also allow HTSO to fulfil its legal requirement to publish the marginal price for electricity the day ahead. Garrad Hassan will work in co-operation with its local partner, Facets, a wind energy consultancy, specialises in detailed atmospheric modelling. The system should be ready to roll in September. "Short term forecasting makes wind farms look like conventional power stations and is a fascinating example of the way in which good science can substantially increase the value of wind energy and explode the myth of unreliability," says company director Andrew Garrad. Garrad Hassan currently supplies short term forecasting for 2300 MW in seven countries worldwide.
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