AESO will also use these forecasting services to develop operating plans to keep generation and demand on the system safely in balance at all times. The RFP is a part of its efforts to integrate more wind power into Alberta’s Interconnected Electric System. The AESO’s intends to have the wind power forecast service operational by the end of 2009.

“Wind power forecasting is a valuable tool that allows us to accommodate the variable nature of wind and enable more wind power to be added to the Alberta generation mix,” said Warren Frost, AESO Vice- President Operations and Reliability. “The AESO’s objective is to integrate as much wind to the Alberta system as is feasible without compromising system reliability or the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of the market.”

The AESO completed a year long wind power forecasting pilot project from May 2007 to May 2008 made possible by funding from the Alberta Department of Energy, the Alberta Energy Research Institute and the AESO. The Canadian Wind Energy Association also made a significant contribution of time, resources and expertise to the pilot project. The pilot compared and contrasted wind forecasting methodologies of suppliers AWS Truewind; energy & meteo Systems and WEPROG. Ortech Power was also engaged to analyze the effectiveness of the various models.

The AESO worked with stakeholders to develop a recommendation for a wind power forecasting service which will provide the AESO with wind power forecasts updated at least once per hour and for the next 48 hours for the province of Alberta.