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Victoria Hoolohan

Project Title: Developing Wind Forecasting Techniques to Assist Strategic Planning of Wind Development and Energy Storage in the UK


I graduated from the University of Birmingham in July 2012 with a BSc in Mathematics with study in Europe, having spent one year studying at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. Following this I spent a year working in financial services before deciding to return to university. The Low Carbon DTC at Leeds particularly interested me because of the breadth of study it allows in the initial period. This has enabled me to broaden my experience of numerous technologies and areas of study. Outside of work I enjoy climbing, kayaking and mountain biking.

PhD Research

My PhD project aims to looks at how the value of wind energy can be increased, taking a two pronged approach in looking at short and long term planning and prediction issues, in order to investigate the issues of integrating wind energy efficiently into the grid resulting from its intermittent nature.

The first area to be considered is that of short term wind prediction. Accurate short term forecasting ability helps to enhance the position of wind energy as an energy source and increase the value of wind farms. Short term forecasts from 1 to 5 days can allow better control of the dispatch of conventional energy so that wind energy produced can be fully utilised. During this PhD project meteorological predictions of wind speed and direction will be used to create improved short term forecasts of power output at wind farms. This will focus on developing improved means of modelling short term wind patterns, beginning by investigating the use of statistical adaptations of numerical weather predictions to improve accuracy at an individual wind farm level.

The second area of consideration will be the long term strategic planning and placement of wind energy in the UK order to maximise the benefits. The project will investigate how further wind energy capacity can be developed and where this would be optimally placed. Furthermore the effects of increasing the penetration of wind energy in the UK grid will be considered, and how the effects of intermittent energy can be minimised. The value of storage methods for balancing production of energy and demand will be investigated, looking at the circumstances under which storage would become more valuable.