IDAE has considered necessary to develop a Spanish Wind Atlas with enough reliability to enable wind potential evaluations, including interactive access to the results through a Geographical Information System plug-in, whose scope is the whole National territory including inland waters and an additional coastal buffer of 24 nautical miles. The use of uniform criteria facilitates the comparison between the results obtained in different zones of the country.
In the making of the Wind Atlas of Spain, a numerical weather prediction system has been applied to predict the long-term wind resource. Interaction with the topographical characterization of Spain has been taken into account, which has enabled the study without the need to carry out a specific measurement campaign. Beside that, real wind resource information has been used to validate the adopted simulation tool.
Conventional methods to study the wind potential in large extensions need a long and expensive measurement campaign, which involves installing several meteorological towers belonging to a homogeneous prospect network. Also, the conventional wind flow models are seldom precise in highly unstable wind regimes and topographically complex territories.
The modern mesoscale and microscale techniques offer a very effective solution to these problems: they effectively combine the use of a sophisticated atmospheric model, capable of reproducing mesoscale wind patterns, with a microscale wind model that responds to local terrain featuring. In this concern, studies of wind potential in large areas can be carried out at an acceptable resolution. It is necessary to emphasise that real in-situ wind measurements are not strictly necessary to obtain reasonable results, although met mast data is essential to confirm the forecasted wind potential in specific sites. In conclusion, atmospheric mesoscale-microscale modelling remarkably reduces cost and time to identify and evaluate potentially promising zones for developing wind projects.
This project designed by IDAE has been developed by Meteosim Truewind, a world-class leading company in development and research of new wind resource exploration techniques based on the mesoscale-microscale modelling system Mesomap. The first Mesomap was marketed by AWS-Truewind in the year 1999. In the last 10 years, it has been applied successfully in diverse regions belonging to more than 60 countries in five continents.
Following the described technique, the key target of this project has been fulfilled: to create a map of wind resource in Spain providing enough reliability to enable a first evaluation of the available wind potential.