From Open Energy Information


Public project site RFI

NREL is beginning a public scoping period to review candidate wind plants to host the AWAKEN project. Through collaboration, we hope to deploy a wide range of instrumentation that can be used to make observations necessary to advancing wind energy and plant-level control strategies. Instrumentation will be deployed within and around the test plant, concentrated around select turbines and arranged to make the observations necessary to address the goals of the project.
Naturally, the science questions that AWAKEN can address are directly related to and interdependent with the wind plant selected for the project. There are also several other factors external to the science goals which will impact the suitability of a given site, such as accessibility, permitting, existing instrumentation, turbine type(s), etc. This RFI is intended to initiate the dialog with potential partners to catalog and gain information on available sites, and the project science goals will be revisited based on the wind plant that is selected to host it. In addition, we ask that the plant owner/operator communicate their own specific research goals in case they are related to those of AWAKEN. The field measurements at AWAKEN project is currently slated to begin in 2020. Although the details of the experiment are still in the definition phase, it is expected that the test campaign will cover at least one year so that seasonal variability is properly represented in the collected measurements.

Information requested below can be covered under a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA), if desired. The RFI or potential test sites can also be discussed in person. Please contact Jeroen van Dam at NREL

The ideal plant

Planning for AWAKEN has concentrated on locations that are topographically simple, but atmospherically complex. Meeting the preliminary design of the science goals outlined in the first AWAKEN meeting (Boulder, CO, March2018) points toward making measurements somewhere a detailed investigation of wake interaction, merging and recovery, and transport phenomena without the influence of terrain. At this point in the planning, project goals remain malleable and different plant configurations are also encouraged. We expect that the particular science goals will be adjust when the final plant selection has been made. Specific characteristics sought in an ideal wind plant include:

  1. Fairly flat terrain (at least in some of the seasonally predominant wind directions)
  2. Ability to shut down the plant for periods of time to allow for turbine instrumentation
  3. Ability to run the plant sub-optimally for periods of time to conduct experiments (e.g. turbines misaligned in yaw, or curtailed)
  4. Regular or semi-regular turbine spacing between 3 and 8 rotor diameters
  5. Turbines models for which we have or can acquire access to controllers are ideal, typically older models not currently the focus of market competition (e.g. GE 1.5, Siemens SWT-2.3, etc.)
  6. Landowners, county officials, and other stakeholders that have shown to be cooperative
  7. Pre-existing data or instrumentation

suggested locations?

Please feel free to contact the AWAKEN planning team with suggestions for potentially interesting wind farms If you are a wind farm owner, operator, or developer and you would like to participate in the AWAKEN project, the AWAKEN team at NREL would be happy to discuss collaborations, and determine contracting requirements to move forward.