Google is using AI to solve the problem of predicting the power output of a wind farm ahead of time.
Wind farms are a fantastic source of renewable energy but their output can be hard to predict due to the nature of wind.
By improving the accuracy of predictions and providing more data, wind farm operators are better prepared to meet upcoming power demands.
In a blog post, Google wrote:
“Based on these predictions, our model recommends how to make optimal hourly delivery commitments to the power grid a full day in advance. This is important, because energy sources that can be scheduled (i.e. can deliver a set amount of electricity at a set time) are often more valuable to the grid.”
Impressively, Google’s system is able to make accurate predictions up to 36 hours in advance:
Increased value helps to drive uptake of wind energy. While the algorithm is still being optimised, Google claims its AI has “boosted the value of our wind energy by roughly 20 percent”.
Here’s a comparison of using Google’s AI compared to a typical wind farm:
Google partnered with its subsidiary DeepMind to develop the AI which uses a neural network trained on weather forecasts and historical turbine data.
The project goes back somewhat to DeepMind’s roots at Google. One of DeepMind’s first achievements under Google was to reduce and control its vast data centres’ power consumption.
Google will rollout the AI optimisation across its central US wind farms which generate 700 megawatts of power.
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