US wind power could produce an estimated 12 TWh more energy – enough untapped energy to power roughly 1.1 million homes, according to a new report by advanced analytics company Uptake.
The current wind fleet’s availability, the measure of a wind turbine’s readiness to produce energy, is 94 percent according to the report. For each one-percent gain in availability, an estimated additional 2.4 TWh of wind energy would be produced by the current fleet without new hardware. That would increase energy production by the equivalent of adding 450 additional wind turbines without building new generation. It would produce nearly the same amount of electricity as one coal-fired power plant and potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 1.78 million tons, the estimated equivalent of removing more than 382,000 cars from the road every year. It would also power 222,000 homes additional annually.
Uptake’s report outlines how software technologies that optimize operations, identify component breakdowns before they happen and provide real-time information on turbine performance can dramatically increase the amount of energy produced by wind turbine fleets.
“Current wind turbines can produce much more energy than they do today” said Sonny Garg, global energy solutions lead for Uptake. “With the ability to predict problems before they happen, the potential increase in wind turbine energy production is massive and important to our transition to a clean energy future.
Dr. Sue Tierney, senior advisor at the Analysis Group, Uptake advisor and former assistant policy secretary at the US Department of Energy, added that the findings from the Uptake report underscore a huge opportunity for the current wind fleet to produce more energy.