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Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd is receiving weather guidance and lightning detection services from MetraWeather Australia.

Woolnorth owns and operates three wind farms leveraging Tasmania’s world class wind resources to generate approximately 9 percent of Tasmania’s electricity needs.

MetraWeather is a specialist weather insights company. It serves energy generators and distributors in Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South East Asia, and has built an enviable reputation for weather insights for renewable energy operations.

The Woolnorth farms at Bluff Point, Musselroe and Studland Bay in Tasmania are receiving these services from MetraWeather:

1. A fully-automated ‘traffic light’ threat matrix that highlights safety risks to within defined weather thresholds
2. Probabilistic hourly wind forecasts
3. Lightning detection
4. Lightning proximity alerting via email and SMS

MetraWeather Sales Delivery & Account Manager, Angelo Portelli, says highly-accurate, site-specific weather forecasts are vital to enabling Australian wind farms to maximise production of renewable energy into the national energy market.

“Forecasting is intrinsic to optimising the performance of wind farms. It’s vital that the significant investments in renewable energy leverage every available scientific and technological advance available.

“Our forecasting will provide Woolnorth with actionable insights that both optimise the available Tasmanian wind asset, whilst mitigating the risks of severe weather events, such as lightning strikes, that can negatively impact operations.

“Our weather guidance is integral to protecting our operators’ infrastructure and enabling Woolnorth to maintain efficient maintenance and health and safety programmes in-the-field.”

Additional context

In March 2018 the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced it would provide funding to Woolnorth’s 168MW Musselroe wind farm for a ground-breaking trial to investigate the economic and commercial potential of wind farms providing frequency control to stabilise the grid.

Traditionally provided only by coal, gas and hydro-electric power stations, frequency control and ancillary services are used by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to maintain the frequency on the electrical system and provide a fast injection or reduction of energy to maintain grid stability.
Ian Attwood