Why do wind farms underperform compared to their pre-construction energy assessment?

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By Arshiya Hoseyni Chime

Pre-construction energy assessments play an essential role in the financing of a wind farm, and the accuracy and precision of these estimates dictate a project’s profitability. Historically, the wind industry has overpredicted pre-construction energy estimates because it was primarily focused on development. It also lacked adequate communication among stakeholders and access to sophisticated wind farm operations management systems. While the wind industry is currently working on optimizations to reduce the uncertainty of estimates, several factors remain.   

In this paper, we share learnings from our wind farm operational performance analysis and identify the contributing factors behind wind farm underperformance, which include:  

  • Availability estimates
  • Wake effects
  • Turbine underperformance 
  • Poor measurement campaign
  • Global warming  

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Meet the author
  1. Arshiya Hoseyni Chime, Energy Engineer