Wind Plant Performance with Age in the United States

To accurately predict lifetime energy output for wind plants one must account for performance changes overtime. A number of studies have investigated the lifetime performance of wind plants in several European countries, showing measurable declines in performance as plants age. However, the results vary by country and involve differing vintages of plants. This research is the first to quantify performance with age across the U.S. wind fleet, and is based on analyzing the generation records and wind resources of over 900 wind projects. 

On average, the U.S. fleet saw performance declines that were similar to those found in Europe. However, a key finding was that newer plants (those less than 10 years of age) show significantly less performance decline compared to the performance of older plants during their first 10 years of age. Additional links between plant characteristics and performance were explored, with the strongest evidence highlighting the link between performance and the Production Tax Credit (performance declines after the expiration of the tax credit). Overall, these results indicate that operators have some control over performance and that newer plants have been able to more effectively employ strategies to mitigate performance decline.

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Wind Plant Performance with Age in the U.S. Webinar
06/09/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  30 minutes
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Dev Millstein

Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dev Millstein is a Research Scientist within Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technology Area and the Electricity Markets and Policy Group. Dr. Millstein uses atmospheric science tools, specifically meteorological, climate and air quality modeling, and satellite observations, to inform policy and economic decision making processes. Dr. Millstein leads research across a diverse range of topics, including the assessment of wind resource variability, renewable power and grid-integration, and air quality. Dev Millstein received a B.A. in economics from Vassar College in 2002. His doctoral work focused on evaluating the air quality impacts of diesel emission controls and he received his PhD in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2009.