Technical Digest: Wind forecasting - Reliability data request

In Canada, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has requested proposals for a centralised wind power production forecasting service, hoping to have it operating by the end of the year.

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"Our objective is to get some operational experience with forecasting and provide that information to the market and to our operators so it becomes part of our day-to-day operations," says AESO's Warren Frost. "We want our operators to get to the point that when they get a forecast they know what kind of certainty goes with it." AESO has also been working on creating dispatch decision support tools to allow operators to compare forecasts with the generation capability on the system, says Frost. "It also has capability to do some replays, so we can see how we used the resources."

Wind capacity in Alberta is expected to reach 1 GW by the third quarter of 2010. Forecasting is a key part of AESO's proposed Market and Operational Framework for Wind Integration, which outlines the steps that system controllers will use to manage wind power in day-to-day operations. A recommendation paper released for stakeholder comment generated most discussion on what will happen in times of supply surplus. "Most of the generator community thought this was just a wind issue. Now they realise that it is going to affect everybody," says Frost. "We are going to have to consult some more on it."

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