The 2014 Mexico Wind Performance Map, released by Vaisala delivers positive news for much of southern Mexico where above normal wind speeds boosted performance at many of the country's operating wind projects. Conversely, wind speeds below the long-term average in Mexico's interior negatively affected overall production at wind farms in that region.
These departures from mean wind speed highlight the importance of gaining a deep understanding of how much seasonal and year-to year variability is possible at a location prior to major investment. This is critical as Mexico looks to encourage a substantial influx of international capital to grow its domestic wind energy sector. Since wind speeds have a direct impact on wind production, an increase or decrease of 5% can have a 5-8% impact on power production, depending on the wind sensitivity of the region. While the meteorological reasons behind the strength of the wind resource in the region are well understood, it is important to note that strong climate anomalies, both positive and negative, such as those experienced in Mexico last year, are by no means isolated or uncommon events. Vaisala's study underlines a growing need for ongoing operational reconciliation to better understand the root causes behind performance fluctuations and better diversify a portfolio of assets. Through its wind performance analysis, Vaisala provides insight for financiers and operators, by translating meteorological and forecasting data into energy investment decisions.