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ArcVera’s Unified WRF Model is a “Significant Advancement in Meteorological and Oceanographic Modelling”, Says Dutch Offshore Wind Report

The Dutch government enterprise agency, RVO, has designated the IJmuiden Ver Wind Zone (IJVWFZ) as an area for offshore wind development. The Project site is located 62 km from the west mainland coast of the Netherlands. A consortium led by DHI, including OWC, ArcVera Renewables, ProPlanEn, and others, conducted an in-depth study to assess the metocean conditions and wind resources at the IJVWFZ.  This initiative by the Dutch government aimed to provide project stakeholders with valuable information to inform the future development of offshore wind in the zone.

Unified-WRF Model Development

The development of a Unified-WRF dataset was needed to streamline and harmonize wind resource assessment (an estimate of the fuel for the project) and metocean analysis (an estimate of the weather and ocean conditions that will affect the safe and efficient design and operation of the project). Historically, these two processes have been conducted separately, using distinct methodologies. Integrating them requires a complex series number of alignment checks. This is challenging due to the inherent differences between the two processes.

Balancing these distinct requirements to create a unified WRF dataset posed a formidable technical challenge, necessitating innovative and practical solutions to accommodate the divergent needs of wind resource assessment and metocean analysis while maintaining accuracy and consistency throughout,” notes the report.

ArcVera developed a bespoke mesoscale dataset utilizing its proprietary Weather Research and Forecasting model called “Unified-WRF”. The model was driven by initial and boundary conditions derived from the ERA5 reanalysis, enabling the assessment of wind energy potential across the entire development zone.

The Unified-WRF model represents a significant advancement in meteorological and oceanographic modelling, tailored to simulate the intricate spatial patterns of wind climate in the Dutch North Sea. […]. This model serves as the fundamental tool for conducting metocean assessments for design purposes and resource assessments in the region. This modelling methodology promises to advance our understanding of the wind climate in this maritime area and its implications for various applications, facilitating more informed decision-making,” continues the report.

ArcVera’s Unified-WRF model was compared against other mesoscale models to ascertain its performance quality for wind resource assessment purposes.

The report concluded that “The Unified-WRF model is found to provide an outstanding representation of the wind resource assessment at the primary measurement locations. It has outstanding performance and surpasses the results demonstrated by other mesoscale model datasets. These results give confidence that the Unified-WRF model is able to represent the short-term climate at each primary measurement location outstandingly.”

Mark Stoelinga, who leads ArcVera’s Atmospheric Innovation, is one of a team of four authors of the report.  His contributions to the Report are in Section 4: Unified-WRF Model Development and Section 5: Spatial Analysis of Unified-WRF.

The goals in creating the Unified-WRF data set were challenging because metocean analysts and wind resource assessment analysts demand different types of performance from their wind input dataset. Metocean analysts demand accuracy of near-surface (10-m) wind speeds, full-basin domain coverage, and accuracy in simulating peak winds during storm conditions. In contrast, wind resource assessment analysts are focused on the long-term climate of hub height winds, emphasizing high spatial resolution and accurate spatial patterns of mean wind speed,” explained Stoelinga. “The Unified-WRF dataset successfully achieved all of these requirements.”


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