RNRG and Ventus install Wind Iris Lidar at first-ever Uruguayan wind farm to boost turbine performance

RNRG and Ventus Ingenieria have announced the acquisition and installation of a Wind Iris nacelle-mounted Lidar at the 20MW Caracoles wind farm in Uruguay. The Wind Iris will monitor turbine performance and offer optimization solutions for the project.


Located in the Sierra de Caracoles in the Maldonado region, the project is composed of ten Vestas V80 2MW machines. The wind farm is owned by UTE, Uruguay’s national utility and electricity market regulator. UTE has the monopoly over all distribution and transmission activities across country. It is also the off-taker of all private wind farms with PPAs.

The measurement campaign’s objective is to evaluate and quantify the performance of one specific turbine with the state-of-the-art Lidar technology available today and to propose solutions to improve the energy production. Based on the results reported by RNRG and Ventus, UTE will evaluate the success of the campaign and make a decision regarding the potential performance evaluation of the other wind turbines in the fleet.

Commissioned in 2010, Caracoles is the very first wind farm commissioned in Uruguay. Since then, the country experienced a spectacular wind energy boom. With 850MW already operating and more than 650MW set to be installed in the next 12 months, Uruguay is taking a leading position in South America’s energy transition.

“Uruguay has set a very ambitious national target for wind power. The country is on its way to achieving a staggering 45% wind penetration by the beginning of 2017. The installation of this first Wind Iris in Latin America demonstrates the Uruguayan market maturity in  benchmarking turbine performance and maximizing AEP with cutting edge measurement technology” commented Evan Osler, Sr. Technical Lead for Remote Sensing at RNRG.

Caracoles presents moderately complex terrain and ambient turbine wakes, which means that proper filtering and data treatment is critical. Fortunately, the Wind Iris yaw correction algorithm has already been validated in both waked and complex wind flow conditions–making it a strong fit for the job at hand.

“We offer independent performance evaluation packages to our clients, and to that purpose, Wind Iris is the best tool to get the job done. From our clients´ perspective, the most important advantage of using Wind Iris is that the ROI of these campaigns is easily quantifiable in USD, using the standard equations and real data,” said Juan Pablo Saltre, Founding Partner of VENTUS.

To learn more about Wind Iris, visit www.renewablenrgsystems.com/products/lidar.