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WSI, EnvaPower Bring Wind Energy Forecasting to the Grid

wind turbine

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One of the biggest criticisms of on-the-grid renewable energy is its inherent unpredictability–the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, but coal is always there to lend a helping hand. Weather information company WSI has joined with EnvaPower to make grid-based wind power more predictable by offering hourly forecasts of wind speed and direction. In the same way we can look up an hourly weather forecast online, energy traders and power companies will be able to look up wind power potential with the WindCast IQ.

The service has the potential to be invaluable to power companies, which will be able to better manage electricity generation. If a power company knows with relative confidence that a blustery day is ahead, it can adjust the power mix accordingly to include more wind energy and less coal energy.

Not everyone will have immediate access to WindCast IQ. Wind-prone areas in Texas and the MidWest get first crack at the product, and for good reason. These markets have rapidly growing wind energy industries, and WindCast IQ will allow them to make good use of their natural resources without putting the stability of the grid at stake.

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Of course, WSI’s product does little for homeowners trying to decide whether the local climate is suitable for rooftop turbines. That’s what iPhone apps are for.

[Via WSJ Environmental Capital]

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About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more

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