Wind energy producers and anyone else can now view a forecast of wind power generation in the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission system over the coming three days.

The wind power forecast developed by BPA’s weather team will help BPA’s power managers and wind energy producers anticipate and adjust to changes in wind generation. Such forecasts are usually considered proprietary and rarely shared publicly. However, BPA opted to make its forecast available to help support the integration of rapidly growing amounts of wind power into the Northwest grid.

Better forecasts can help BPA manage hydroelectric power generation to account for changes in wind generation, especially in periods such as this spring when high runoff is boosting hydroelectric generation.

BPA so far has connected more than 3,500 megawatts of wind power to its transmission system and has invested heavily in improved wind forecasting. Accurate forecasts, especially those that identify sharp upsurges in wind power called “ramps,” help BPA understand how hydro power reserves necessary for backing up wind will be deployed during the ups and downs in wind generation.

That could in turn help operate hydroelectric dams more efficiently and help meet other non-power objectives such as flood control and the protection of threatened and endangered fish.

BPA now has agreements with wind developers that will increase the wind generation connected to its system to more than 6,000 megawatts by 2013.

The forecast shows anticipated wind generation in BPA’s system for each hour over the next three days, based on a series of weather models. It also shows the minimum and maximum wind generation expected each hour during the same three days. The forecast is updated each hour and posted publicly 20 minutes after the hour. In addition, the previous seven days of hourly forecasts are available in data files.

In addition to the wind power forecast, BPA also has a display for wind speed and direction for past three hours at BPA-maintained meteorological sites. For additional wind information, please go to www.bpa.gov/corporate/WindPower/.