Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

Atmospheric Boundary Layer-Wind Farm Interactions

1 September 2022 - 31 December 2022

Lead Scientist: Petra Klein

Observatory: sgp

The American Wake Experiment (AWAKEN, is a collaborative, international campaign planed by DOE to study the dynamic and turbulent properties of wind farm wakes. The scope of the project ranges from studying individual turbine wakes and wake interactions within wind farms to downstream wake effects of wind farms on the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and mesoscale environment. The latter effects influence the performance of wind farms deployed downwind and modify the weather and climate in the region. Our project focuses on studying the mesoscale and boundary-layer effects of wind farms in more detail using advanced boundary-layer profiling facilities.

AWAKEN will take place in 2022 and 2023 near the Southern Great Plains (SGP) ARM site in northern Oklahoma. Nocturnal low-level jets (NLLJ) and convection initiation (CI) are prominent boundary-layer/mesoscale phenomena in this region. They affect the wind, temperature, and moisture regimes as well as wind farm power production. Leveraging funding from DOE AWAKEN in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), we will deploy a Collaborative Lower Atmosphere Profiling System (CLAMPS, and a LLNL profiling lidar at site E36.

CLAMPS integrates two passive remote-sensing instruments to retrieve temperature and moisture profiles along with a scanning Doppler lidar that provides wind and turbulence profiles in the ABL. The LLNL profiling lidar provides higher-resolution wind information in the lowest ~150-m of the ABL. For southerly wind directions, which dominate in the region, the profiles collected at site E36 will allow us to monitor the inflow conditions into an area where multiple wind farms have been developed over the last decade and where detailed measurements of individual wind turbine and wind farm wakes are planned during AWAKEN. Comparing the data from the inflow site with measurements from waked regions will allow us to investigate the impact of wind farms on the mesoscale environment and ABL structure. We further plan to identify if and how wind farms affect the initiation of convection and thunderstorm evolution in in northern Oklahoma.


Arianna Jordan
Elizabeth Smith
Sonia Wharton


  • Parent Campaign
  • Sibling Campaign