Schneider Electric hopes to improve the quality of its wind power forecasting tools after signing a long term agreement with Vaisala, a specialist in environmental and industrial measurement.

Schneider said in a statement that the agreement was signed after a competitive two month live trial in which Vaisala demonstrated superior performance in several key accuracy metrics across multiple forecast horizon times at several independent wind farm sites located throughout North America and Europe.

Schneider’s wind industry clients will be able to benefit from best of breed wind power and weather forecasting information and an industry leading software platform, it said.

"Irrespective of where in the world wind farm owners and investors are operating projects, it’s imperative to have access to high quality weather forecasting information to plan for operations and maintenance, maximize production, and safeguard the facility," said Jon Reifschneider, Vice President and General Manager of Weather at Schneider Electric.

"In light of this, and having spent considerable time developing a product that’s tailored to the specific needs of our global wind customer base, it was crucial that we develop a strong commercial partnership with a trusted renewable energy forecast provider.

"Vaisala consistently demonstrated forecast accuracy and an unrivalled understanding of the market. Through its first class forecasting technology, Vaisala provides us a strong source of data that can be delivered globally to enable further development and growth," he added.

Schneider’s WeatherSentry application uses next-generation mapping to provide detailed weather forecasting for wind farms around the world. This includes patented alerting technology to signal wind farm personnel about approaching lightning or other severe weather and includes dynamic location support through mobile device apps.

The application also helps wind operators enhance situational awareness and efficiently schedule operations by assessing their risk with respect to multiple weather parameters so proactive and reactive wind project site activity can be better managed, monitored, and planned.