Offshore wind turbines at sea.

Time-series analysis: 30 GW offshore wind in Norway

By Harald Svendsen and John Olav Tande

The Norwegian government has announced plans to develop 30 GW of wind power capacity by 2040. This corresponds more or less to a doubling of the generation capacity in Norway and will significantly impact the operation of the power system. The Norwegian power system will move from being dominated by hydro power to being a system in which about 50% of the generation will be coming from offshore wind. We have studied time series of historical weather data to understand better what some of the implications will be.

In the study, we have assumed the offshore wind farms to be located within the 15 areas suggested by NVE in 2010. The capacity of the wind farms has been assumed to be proportional to the size of the areas. The result is a set of wind farms with capacities ranging from 0.2 GW to 9 GW, with Sørlige Nordsjø II being the largest. The locations of the wind farms are illustrated in the map below. For part of the analysis, we have also included three offshore wind farms in the UK, Denmark and Germany that are also shown in the map.

We applied 29 years of historical weather data to generate time-series with hourly resolution of power output for each wind farm. Based on these time-series we carried out a preliminary analysis of the wind power variations that can be expected from 30 GW of offshore wind in Norway. One interesting result that we find is that there is a strong correlation between the power output from wind farms in UK, Denmark, Germany and Sørlige Nordsjø I and II. The correlation is weaker the further north the wind farms are located. For example, the power output of the Sørlige Nordsjø II area (number 0) has a correlation coefficient of less than 0.2 for all wind farms from Frøyabanken (number 6) and northwards. Read more about the topic on this blog (in Norwegian only).

Assumed location of wind farms.
Correlation coefficients between the wind farms.

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