A forecast released by Vaisala on Tuesday shows that wind conditions will improve along the US West Coast in the first quarter of 2016, but many other regions will still experience below average wind speeds.
The wind measurement expert said that the strengthening El Nino weather pattern will be the reason for the "marked increase" in wind energy performance for West Coast wind parks early next year. The states that will benefit from the increase in wind speeds are California, Oregon and Washington. Wind power capacity there totals 11.8 GW.
California independent system operator CA-ISO, in particular, is expected to experience a major recovery in wind power deliveries in its energy market, similar to the Bonneville Power Administration, the Pacific Northwest power market.
Vaisala mentioned that the Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma areas will see a slight improvement of 10%-20% in wind conditions compared to the same period of 2015. However, they will remain below the historical average for the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, the Midwest and Northeast energy markets are unlikely to experience any improvement in wind speeds, but due to the warmer and milder winter conditions may benefit from lower energy demand.
"Now is the time to start building climate resilient portfolios [..] you don't want to have all of your assets in Texas and not have some mitigation strategy for when wind speeds dip below average for a period of time" said Pascal Storck, head of Energy Services at Vaisala.
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