Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
27 Jul 2012
 | 27 Jul 2012

The influence of the new ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System resolution on wind power forecast accuracy and uncertainty estimation

S. Alessandrini, S. Sperati, and P. Pinson

Abstract. The importance of wind power forecasting (WPF) is nowadays commonly recognized because it represents a useful tool to reduce problems of grid integration and to facilitate energy trading. If on one side the prediction accuracy is fundamental to these scopes, on the other it has become also clear that a reliable estimation about their uncertainty is paramount. In fact prediction accuracy is unfortunately not constant and can depend on the location of a particular wind farm, on the forecast time and on the atmospheric situation. Previous studies indicated that the spread of power forecasts derived from the Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) in use at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) could be used as indicator of a three-hourly, three days ahead, wind power forecast's accuracy. In this paper a new application of the EPS, whose horizontal resolution was increased on January 2010 from T399/T255 (60 km) to T639/T319 (32 km), shows an improvement in the results implying that the power spread has actually enough correlation with the error calculated on the deterministic forecast in order to be used as an accuracy predictor. The periods for this comparison are from January 2008 until October 2008 (T399/T255) and from January 2011 until October 2011 (T639/T319). Moreover we have focused our attention on the influence of the new EPS configuration on the performance of a deterministic WPF conducted with the ensemble mean: the results show that increasing the EPS resolution yields a single-valued WPF whose performance is comparable with that of the new ECMWF deterministic high-resolution meteorological model, whose spatial resolution increased from T799 (25 km) to T1279 (15 km).