Forecasting high proportions of wind energy supplying the Brazilian Northeast electricity grid

Pieter de Jong, Roger Dargaville, Jeremy Silver, Steven Utembe, Asher Kiperstok, Ednildo Andrade Torres

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53 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the optimal integration of high proportions of wind energy into an electricity grid which traditionally depends on hydroelectricity. Wind power in the Brazilian Northeast (NE) is expected to generate 57% of the NE's electricity supply by 2020. As rainfall in the NE region is susceptible to climate change, it is anticipated that wind energy could substitute lost hydroelectric availability. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is used to simulate wind speeds for all of 2014 and calculate wind power across the entire NE region of Brazil. The NE region's aggregate hourly wind generation and net load curve are then estimated for increasing wind penetrations using the planned rollout of wind farms in the region as a baseline. The maximum wind energy penetration in the region is estimated to be approximately 50% before significant amounts of energy would need to be curtailed or exported to other Brazilian regions. It was found that wind energy generation from coastal wind farms in the region best correlates with the hourly and monthly variations of the NE subsystem's load curve. Conversely, inland wind farms on the NE's elevated plateaus typically generate more power late at night, but have higher capacity factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-555
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Forecasting
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Renewable energy integration
  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • WRF

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