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Publication Date
4 June 2018

The Influence of Real-World Wind Turbine Deployments on Local to Mesoscale Climate

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Using year-long high-resolution (4-km) WRF simulations and actual wind turbine (WT) geolocations and aerodynamics we have quantified scale, magnitude & seasonality of the resulting impacts on near-surface climate. Using a Midwest nested domain we show the effects of WT in Iowa on local to mesoscale climate = modest & statistically significant only in summer.


Wind turbines (WT) extract kinetic energy & convert it to electrical power. Thus, some local disturbance of flow field & near-surface climate is inevitable. However, there is large uncertainty in the (1) Scale, magnitude & seasonality of effect. (2) Scaling with installed capacity. (3) Sensitivity to parameterization. This work reduces these uncertainties.


Effects of WT on near-surface climate are very small & have shown previous research inadvertently over-estimated effects by summer focus and/or unrealistic assumptions.

Point of Contact
S. C. Pryor
Cornell University
Funding Program Area(s)