Mexico gets world’s first windfarm designed by a supercomputer

Iberdrola, the Spanish energy company, has started work on the Pier 2 windfarm in Mexico, the first to be designed using a supercomputer that calculates airflow over complex terrain and works out the optimal place to situate turbines.

Pier 2 is located on a 2.5km-high site in the state of Puebla in southern Mexico, one of the windiest regions of the country. 

It will be made up of 33 2MW machines from turbine maker Gamesa. The $120m project is Iberdrola’s fourth wind farm in Mexico and is being developed with local partner Impulsora Latinoamericana de Energías Renovables. When complete it will provide electricity for 25,000 homes.

The design of the facility was drawn up with the help of the MareNostrum supercomputer using a simulation system called Sedar (a Spanish acronym for "high resolution wind power simulation"). The program was co-written by Iberdrola and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. 

The company expects to use the system on all future projects that are sited on complex terrain. Iberdrola already has 230MW in place at its other three wind farms in Mexico. By the time the Puebla complex is up and running, it will be managing a wind power capacity of almost 600MW in Mexico.

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