By - Jon Brown

Wind Power Plant Design Fundamentals
June 13-14, 2016 | Denver, CO

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The state of the U.S. wind industry is strong: according to the U.S. DOE “Wind Vision” report (2015), new investments in wind plants averaged $13 billion/year from 2008 to 2012 in the U.S.   Market experts project this development and growth will continue at an aggressive pace.  Thus, despite the already robust development to date, there is an ongoing need for people to understand how wind power plants are designed, operate and are connected into the existing electric grid.

This program will provide a strong technical foundation of plant development and design concepts to familiarize attendees with key elements of wind power plant design, including a detailed review of design criteria, site selection, component function and selection, wind turbine design considerations, thorough instruction on power flow through the plant, and interconnection requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify fundamental design and system integration requirements for wind power plants
  • Review the physics of wind and major concepts of capturing energy from the wind
  • Define the components of a wind power plant and identify their respective functions
  • Appraise wind site energy potential and suitability for development
  • Discuss the development process for wind farms step-by-step
  • Evaluate strategies to minimize environmental and permitting risk for wind development
  • Review key considerations for logistics, transportation and manufacturing of wind farm components
  • Examine design considerations and requirements for grid interconnection
  • Assess technical items to be mindful of post-development


Monday, June 13, 2016

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:05 a.m. :: Welcome and Introductions

I.Physics of Wind

8:05 – 9:15 a.m. :: Capturing Energy from the Wind
  • Betz’s Limit based on Elemental Momentum Theory
  • Coefficient of Performance (Cp)
    • Tip Speed Ratio (?)
    • Blade Pitch Angle (ß)
    • Betz versus Schmitz, number of blades
  • Lift & Drag, Angle of Attack (?)
  • Losses: Tip, Wake & Drag
  • Constant Speed versus Variable Speed WTG, Torque production, Stall Regulated versus Pitch Regulated power control
  • Development considerations to optimize resource capture
9:15 – 10:30 a.m. : Converting Wind into Electric Power Generation
  • Generator types (Wound Rotor {Synchronous & Induction}, Permanent Magnet, Squirrel-Cage Rotor)
  • WTG Types 1-4
  • Speed-Torque curve, reactive power capability of WTG, Parks Transformation, soft start during cut-in
  • Basics of WTG generator control topologies
  • Active power controls (Frequency, P, curtailment, ramping Up/Down)
  • Reactive rower controls (Voltage Power Factor, Q)
  • Short-circuit behaviors of Type 1-4 WTGs
  • Development considerations to optimize resource transfer

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

II. Step-by-Step Planning of Wind Farm Development

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Site Assessment, Resource Estimation & Preliminary Design Stages
  • Initial site assessment & detailed site characterization
  • Wind resource assessment
  • Long-term energy production estimates
  • Strategizing design to enhance energy yield
    • Optimizing plant/tower alignment and placement
  • Assessing risk and production outcome during project life-cycle

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. :: Wind Power Plant Building Blocks
  • Wind tower & turbines 101: Overview of components & considerations for optimal design
  • Standards & Certification for Technology
    • IEC versus IEEE
    • NEC versus NESC
    • Country-level and Regional-level
  • Overview of generator types
  • Wind turbine control systems
  • Point of interconnection
  • The collector system
    • Topology – Underground versus overhead construction
    • WTG LV-MV Step-up transformers, Delta versus Wye
    • Feeder breakers
    • Grounding transformers
  • Reactive compensation
  • WTG & WPP grounding
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. :: Minimizing Environmental & Permitting Risk for Wind Development
  • Review of permits, reports authorizations, studies and approvals
    • Environmental site assessment reports
    • Biological resource studies and risk assessments
    • Environmental impacts assessment
  • Operating within permitted limits (avian mortality, noise, etc.)
  • Scheduling considerations for development
  • Understanding common issues, exposures and liabilities
  • Environmental remediation or investigative activities and any expected compliance costs
  • Optimizing development to meet regulatory and compliance standards
    • Mitigation design and monitoring
    • Developing strategies to avoid and minimize impacts on species
    • Sustainable development practices

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:45 – 5:00 p.m. :: Construction Management, Operations & Maintenance
  • Management and monitoring of construction process
  • Equipment commissioning and testing
  • Confirming work is well done within
    • The latest design specifications
    • Regulatory guidelines
  • Construction site and safety
  • Operational and maintenance review
  • Warranty support
  • Post-construction
    • Health and safety
    • Asset management


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Wind Power Plant Operations
  • FERC/NERC registration
  • System operation aspects
    • Distribution
    • Transmission
  • Options for increasing power system flexibility
  • Wind turbine safety
9:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Design Considerations & Requirements for Grid Interconnection
  • Interconnection requirements
    • Voltage regulation, power factor and reactive power requirements
    • Frequency control/regulation, active power requirements
    • Power ramp rate requirements
    • Voltage and frequency ride-through requirements
  • Wind power plant studies

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. :: Technical Due Diligence Post-Development
  • Power performance evaluations
  • Estimating losses
  • Ensuring valid warranties
  • Operational goals and solutions to improve performance

11:45 a.m. :: Program Adjourns



Tuesday June 14, 2016

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.:: Registration

1:00 – 4:45 p.m. :: Workshop Timing


An accurate and detailed wind resource and energy assessment is key to a wind farm development project.  It is important for securing project financing, optimizing turbine site suitability, supply and warranty, and securing a power purchase agreement.  This workshop will outline key considerations for developing a strategic approach to wind resource assessment, focusing on how resource and long-term energy production estimates are quantified in the overall financial model of the project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the wind resource assessment process and associated tools
  • Discuss how wind resources are characterized in the long-term
  • Assess necessary tools, instrumentation and meteorology equipment
  • Evaluate how data is analyzed to produce wind resource estimates and production models
  • Discuss how energy estimates are financially quantified and impact overall project value and feasibility

Program Agenda

I. Understanding & Assessing the Resource
  • Detailed site evaluation
  • Initial feasibility study
  • Critical path analysis
  • Monitoring program
II. Long Term Resource Characterization
  • Annual mean
  • Wind rose
  • Seasonal and diurnal variations
  • Characteristic turbulence
  • Extreme winds and temperatures
III. Instrumentation & Meteorology Equipment
  • Wind maps
  • Meteorological/tall towers
  • Remote sensing components
    • SODAR
    • LIDAR
IV. Long-Term Wind Resource Estimation & Production Model
  • Data quality control and analysis
  • Climatology considerations and adjustments
  • Wind flow modeling
  • Turbine layout optimization
V. Gross Energy Estimation
  • Incorporating losses
  • Quantifying uncertainty
VI. Financial Assessment of Wind Resource Assessment and Long-Term Energy Estimates
  • Impact on project valuation and financing
  • Project feasibility
  • Economic viability

Workshop Instructor

Lucille Olszewski, General Manager, Ensemble Wind

Lucille Olszewski is as a Meteorologist at Ensemble Wind, a woman-owned company that provides complete services to the wind and solar energy industry from early stage project development through successful operations.  She has more than 25 years as a wind energy meteorologist and management professional with extensive experience in business development and project management.


Denver Marriott City Center
1701 California Street
Denver, CO 80202

To reserve your room, please call 1-303-297-1300 or book online
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $239.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.


Benjamin M. Davis, Electrical Engineer, Vestas

Benjamin M. Davis is an Electrical Engineer with Vestas Wind Systems. In this role he supports sales, modeling and construction of wind turbine generators, wind power plant systems and transmission interconnections.   In the past, he has worked for TransCanada overseeing QA/QC of wind power plant design review and construction, and as an electrician in a number of industry facilities.

Robert Healy, Regional Global Practice Manager, Burns & McDonnell

Robert Healy is a Regional Global Practice Manager and Manager of the Renewable Energy Group at Burns & McDonnell.  He specializes in financial and economic analyses, strategy development, feasibility evaluations, due diligence reviews, and project development.  His focus is on assisting clients to successfully deliver energy projects specifically in the areas of wind, solar and biofuels.  Mr. Healy has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University, a MBA from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience, with nearly 8 years working internationally.

Seth Nicholson, Wind Farm Site Supervisor, Portland General Electric

Seth Nicholson is a Wind Farm Site Supervisor at Portland General Electric (PGE).  Mr. Nicholson has sound knowledge in turbine and plant operations, and is experienced in the daily operation of a wind plant and making decisions based on technical and business needs.  He currently supervises PGE’s the Tucannon River Wind Farm, the first energy project in North America to receive the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s ‘Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Gold Award.’   Seth Nicholson previously worked at Siemens in various Technician positions.   He is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.

Alicia Oller, Managing Director – Pacific Rim Environmental & Energy Services, Tetra Tech

Alicia Oller, Managing Director of Pacific Rim Environmental & Energy Services at Tetra Tech Inc., has over 27 years of environmental assessment and permitting experience in North America.  She has provided management and technical expertise for the siting, development, construction, and operations of wind energy projects for the past nine years. Ms. Oller’s focus is on strategic planning, managing multidisciplinary teams, agency coordination, and technical oversight. She specializes in due diligence assessments, pre- and post-construction resource studies, environmental permitting and compliance, and endangered species strategies. She managed the preparation of and coauthored habitat conservation plans and NEPA environmental assessments for several wind energy facilities. She uses her understanding of both the technical information and policy to bridge differences between regulatory agencies and developers to meet project goals and schedule.  Ms. Oller obtained a B.A. in Biology from Maryville College and a M.S. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee.

Lucille Olszewski, General Manager, Ensemble Wind

Lucille Olszewski is a Meteorologist at Ensemble Wind, a woman-owned company that provides complete services to the wind and solar energy industry from early stage project development through successful operations.  She has more than 25 years as a wind energy meteorologist and management professional with extensive experience in business development and project management.

Steven Saylors, Senior Specialist, Vestas

Steven W. Saylors is Senior Specialist at Vestas Wind Systems.  He serves as internal subject-matter expert on electrical power generation systems, wind turbine design, and transmission system interconnection/integration issues.  Previously, Mr. Saylors worked for Portland General Electric and the Bechtel Power Corporation.  In these positions he was assigned to the design, construction and operation of electrical power plants — mostly nuclear and coal-fired — as well as power transmission and distribution projects.  Additionally, Mr. Saylors is on the Adjunct Faculty of Portland Community College and the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).


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