How does risk aversion shape overplanting in the design of offshore wind farms?

Esteve Borràs mora, James Spelling, Adriaan Van Der Weijde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Offshore wind farms are subjected to a maximum export capacity set in their connection agreement with the Transmission System Operator (TSO). Generators can export up to their contracted maximum export capacity, with any additional generation curtailed by the TSO. However, given the fact that the majority of the time offshore wind farms are not generating at full power, overplanting wind farms by installing a higher wind farm capacity compared to the fixed electrical infrastructure can result in better overall economics despite power output being curtailed at generations' peaks. The objective of this paper is to provide a framework to assess overplanting in the design of offshore wind farms when the underlying variables, such as wind speed and availability rates among others, are uncertain. The paper integrates site characteristics, technology specificities and financing constraints grounded in the mathematical framework of uncertainty quantification at the heart of the decision-making process. Generally speaking, the role of determining the optimal amount of overplanting comes down to the risk appetite of the developer, which in this paper is represented by a linear combination of the risk aversion and risk neutrality setting. A case study for a commercial offshore wind farm shows a 2% optimal overplanting for a Monte Carlo simulation, whereas this is found at 4% for a double Monte Carlo loop simulation regardless of the risk appetite considered. Furthermore, overplanting the farm by any value from 2% to 8% gives a better result than with no overplanting for a risk neutral setting. This paper will be of interest to developers, policy-makers and regulatory bodies confronted with uncertainty in overplanting the design of offshore wind farms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2019
Event16th Deep Sea Offshore Wind R&D conference - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 16 Jan 201919 Jan 2019

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