Meteorology for Renewable Energy Systems

Meteorology for Renewable Energy Systems

September 25-26, 2019 | Denver, CO

Renewable energy is growing at an astounding pace at the global level, with rapidly declining prices now making it the most cost-effective option for new generation on many energy grids today.  This increasing growth of renewable energy is impacting the electric grid in multiple ways, challenging many of the foundational design assumptions upon which traditional utility planning and operation rely.  As energy policies and renewable portfolios continue to increase, it becomes increasingly important to evaluate best practices for renewable integration and to identify techniques and resources that simultaneously improve the power quality in systems with escalating levels of renewable penetration.

A crucial – and often overlooked –component to ensuring a functioning grid for a clean energy future is understanding the relationship between atmospheric science and renewable energy systems. This course will evaluate how meteorology fits in the big picture in the future of the utility system, discussing how and where it is important, and presenting a ‘soup to nuts’ approach to studying, planning, and applying meteorology data for renewable project development and grid operations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the significance of atmospheric science in the transition to a renewable energy future
    • How the weather impacts renewable integration and operations
  • Discuss meteorology impacts to the system — transmission and generation
  • Identify strategic and technical meteorology needs in renewable energy systems
    • Fundamental best practices
    • Using meteorology to build a better system from front to back
    • Forecasting and data analytics
    • Asset management in renewable systems
  • Review wind and solar resource assessment and forecasting
  • Discuss processes to move away from deterministic forecasting to probabilistic forecasting
  • Assess best practices to bridge the gap between atmospheric science and utility industries
  • Review best practices for meteorology and forecasting specific to island power grids



EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements For Successful Completion Of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

8:30 – 8:50 a.m. :: Introduction

8:50 – 9:30 a.m. :: Setting the Context: Power Systems and Weather Dependency

  • Weather Dependency in Utility Power Systems
    • Overview of weather impact on traditional systems
      • How do variables like wind, temperature, and humidity impact load, distribution, transmission and traditional generation
      • How do these variables interact?
      • What impact do extreme events have
    • An overview of weather impacts on renewable generation (wind, solar and hydro)
      • Similarities and differences in weather impacts of each
      • Comparison with weather impacts on traditional systems
      • Resource interactions and why they matter
    • The Current Siloed Approach to Meteorology in the Project Life Cycle
      • An overview of three chief ways that meteorology is typically utilized
        • Resource Assessment
        • Generation Forecasting
        • Asset Management
      • The consequences of the silos in the renewable energy transition
      • Project siting drivers
      • Current real and perceived challenges for each type of renewable

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: Renewable Energy Meteorology 101 

  • Renewable Energy Meteorology Introduction
    • What causes the weather? How does it relate to wind, solar and hydro
  • Terminology Primer – Commonly Used Terms and Definitions
    • Climate and weather
    • Variability and uncertainty
    • Renewable resource drivers for wind, solar and hydro
    • Variability, uncertainty and their nuances
    • Prediction types and their time horizons
      • Time horizons
      • Prediction types

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Renewable Energy Systems 101

  • Renewable Electricity Technologies
    • Understanding their potentials, limitations, and promising applications
  • Power Systems Integration
    • What are integration costs? What drives them?
    • Is renewables integration different? If so how?
    • Integration myths
    • Integration solutions (footprint, market speed/liquidity, dispatch interval/horizon, forecasting)
  • Getting Out of the Silos and Understanding the Need for a Systems Approach
    • Why is meteorology and climatology a key driver?
    • Where should it fit?

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Resource Assessment Part 1

  • Assessment Purpose and End-users through the Project Timeline:
    • Engineering vs. Atmospheric Science Role: “Oil and Water” or “Peas and Carrots”?
    • Upfront: Prospecting winning sites and optimization of gross energy
    • Refinement: Only three things matter net energy, net energy and net energy
    • Win the PPA/find the off-take
    • Finance (P-Values), production performance, operations, repowering
  • Traditional Approach vs. Current Approach: Know your fuel, know your output
    • Every Site is Different and Has Unique Meteorological Features
    • Shortcomings of the Traditional Approach: What have we learned in the last 10 years?
    • Measurement Campaign Instruments and Strategies
    • Historical context (“MCP”): Why? How? Dangers?
    • Vertical Extrapolation to Hub-Height: Why? How? Limitations
    • Spatial Extrapolation and Wind Flow Modeling: Why? How? Limitations
    • Validation and Uncertainty
    • Wind Speed Frequency Distribution: Critical and unique site characteristic
    • Haircut time: Gross to Net Energy Considerations
    • Special Subject: Wake loss modeling
    • How’s your mileage? Power Curve Performance
    • Evaluating Sources of Uncertainty: What about Climate Change?
    • P-Values: What they mean and what they do not mean?
    • Site Suitability, Extreme Condition Assessment and the “MLA”
    • Reckoning: How good are we?
    • Permanent Met Towers: An overlooked source of verification
    • Operational Backcasting and Repowering Assessment
    • Key Differences between Wind and Solar
  • Future Resource Assessment
    • The advancing modern turbine era: Risks
    • Instrumentation above tip height: Sodars, lidars, scanning lidars and their benefits
    • Very high- resolution wind flow modeling: Mesoscale, LES, CFD
    • Advanced and more site- specific wake loss modeling
    • Stability impacts and the “reservoir above”
    • Advanced Power Performance Testing
  • Available Resources for People to Access from Both Vendors and Government Sources. (IRENA, NREL, etc.)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. :: Resource Assessment Part 2 (continued)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. :: Meteorology Impacts on Renewable Energy

  • A Deeper Dive into the way Different Meteorological Phenomena Impact Wind, Solar and Hydro
    • Scales of motion
    • Drivers of change
    • Large scale weather systems
    • Terrain induced flows: mountain/valley and sea-breeze
    • Transient features like fronts and troughs
    • Mountain waves
    • Mountain wakes
    • Gapflows
    • Convection (Thunderstorms)
    • Stability
    • Micro-climates
    • Extreme conditions: High winds, high/low temperatures, snow and ice
    • Cold waves including impacts on traditional energy
    • Hurricanes

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. :: Renewable Energy Generation Forecasting Part 1

  • Load, Wind and Solar Forecasting 101
    • The basic building blocks
    • The similarities and differences between wind, solar and load forecasting
    • Why load forecasting will allows be more accurate the wind and solar
  • Foundational Numerical Weather Prediction
    • How do we forecast the planet’s weather
    • Initial conditions and boundary conditions. What are they? Where do they come from? What is data assimilation
    • The impact of resolution
    • Modeling processes occurring at higher resolution than the model operates at
  • Creating a Power Forecast
    • How is a power forecast derived? What inputs are needed?
    • Methodologies utilized at different time horizons
    • Differences between wind and solar
    • Coupling of other earth system models
      • Land surface model and land use
      • Ocean models
      • Hydro models

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Renewable Energy Generation Forecasting Part 1

  • Probabilistic Forecasts, Prediction Intervals and the use of Ensembles – What? Why?
  • Ramp Forecast Tools and Situational Awareness
  • Data….What Matters and What Doesn’t?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

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

8:30 – 11:45 a.m. :: Course Timing

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. :: Implementing a Renewable Energy Forecasting Solution

  • What Determines Variable Energy Resources and Load Forecast Value?
  • The Weather Forecast Value Chain
  • Best Practices for Developing a Robust Forecasting Solution and Integrating it into Operations
  • The importance of quality data
  • Evaluating Forecast System Performance
    • Why verify? What to verify
    • Typical verification metrics
    • Advanced verification metrics
  • Renewable Energy Forecasting Trials – Do’s and Don’ts

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. :: Applications of Meteorology to Asset Management

  • Know Your Fuel and Make Sure Your Fuel Gauge Works
    • Data, data, data
  • How to Access Real Plant Performance Against Budget
    • Just because you’re met your budget doesn’t mean you operated the plant optimally
    • Potential generation
  • Operations and Maintenance Planning
    • Lightning information and other services supporting life and property
  • Planning for Non-Renewable Units
  • Building a Lower Risk Portfolio

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. :: Transmission and Generation Planning for High Penetration Renewables

  • Why Meteorology/Climatology are Critical Here
    • Resource attributes and diversity
  • Revisit the Hydro Analogy
  • Grid Co-Optimization Studies
    • What is the motivation? How do they work?
    • Insights into how much RE can be integrated and at what cost
    • Advantages of planning versus ad-hoc build out
    • Limitations of grid co-optimization methods

10:45 – 11:15 a.m. :: Renewable Energy is About Systems – Pulling it All Together

  • A Short Case Study Example of Meteorology Adding Millions of Dollars of Value
  • Demand Side Pricing Transparency, Aggregators and Demand Response
  • Forecasting is NOT a Magic Bullet
  • The Old and New Paradigms
    • Baseload, curtailment, reliability
    • Load and generation are not independent
  • Incorporating Meteorology into System Design

11:15 – 11:45 a.m. :: Final Q&A and Wrap Up


Justin Sharp, Principal and Founder, Sharply Focused LLC

Justin Sharp is principal and founder of Sharply Focused Forecasting, consultants in all aspects of wind forecasting.   He has 15+ years of experience as a meteorologist, and 7 ½ years of energy sector experience gained at Iberdrola Renewables and Bonneville Power Administration.  He founded and directed the operational meteorology division at Iberdrola, where tasks included reconciling commercial and operational data with meteorological data, and providing real-time 24/7 trading and operations support from a renewable energy forecasting desk.   He has played an active role in advocacy and policy discussions, presenting at numerous workshops and informing policy discussions in a diverse range of areas including FERC, NOAA leadership, DOE, and the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. 


EUCI Office Building Conference Center

4601 DTC Blvd, B-100

Denver CO, 80237


Nearby Hotels

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 E Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1234
0.3 miles away

Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center
7675 E Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-770-4200
0.6 miles away

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1100
0.7 miles away

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center
8300 E. Crescent Parkway
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 1-888-492-8847
0.9 miles away


By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.