Main Article Content
Several regions of Brazil have been experiencing periods of intense drought in the last decades. Hydropower plants produce most of the energy of the country and a reduction in the reservoir flow can compromise the energy sector. Therefore, the Brazilian government has seek the diversification of energy production with other renewable sources. The introduction of new renewable sources such as wind and solar power requires a detailed study about local weather conditions usually through historical data analysis. However, several areas in Brazil are not covered by weather stations. In this context, this study aims to assess the ability of the Global Forecast System (GFS) to represent wind, on the state of Minas Gerais (MG) which has 79.5% of energy production associated with water resources. Although the study considers a specific region, it presents a methodology that can be replicated in regions where there is no data available. For most areas, 10 meters wind speed values of the GFS analysis were similar to those registered by the weather stations. For 10 and 100 meters of altitude, results shows higher wind speed values in the north of the state, a region where the highest power densities are also recorded (approximately 150 Wm-2 in winter and spring). The state is characterized by low precipitation rates during winter and spring, when the winds are, in turn, more intense. Model results indicate that the region reaches the minimal meteorological conditions required for wind energy production that can be used as a complementary source of hydroelectricity.
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