Wind Solar Hybrid Design and Modeling

This presentation outlines UL’s experience-based approach to integrate utility-scale wind and solar projects within a shared project area. There are numerous advantages to siting wind and solar technology on the same land parcel. First, a wind farm covers many acres due to spacing requirements, leaving open areas between turbines to place PV panels. Second, there are development efficiencies, as utility-scale solar and wind projects have much in common in their development process. Third, there are cost efficiencies from shared infrastructure, such as service facilities, collection system, and point of interconnection. Finally, there are load coincidence efficiencies, since wind energy tends to be greatest during the night and winter, complementing the peak times of solar generation. All of these factors create incentive for developing wind and solar on the same land parcel.

Making a hybrid wind-solar project a reality is achievable, but not trivial. The two technologies must be strategically sited to maximize generation from both projects with little interference from each other. This presentation provides a summary overview of UL’s process to mitigate negative impacts and maximize combined production. The process considers the impacts of solar on wind: namely, the effective hub height and/or upwind roughness when considering PV arrays. Similarly, the process considers the impacts of wind on solar: namely, turbine shading on PV arrays. The best practices for system design and energy modeling for hybrid wind-solar projects is outlined based on UL’s relevant project experience in this area.

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