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WindDesk - Direct to IRR Wind Project Development

Traverse is excited to release WindDesk, a wind farm techno-commercial simulation service. We had a soft launch in March 2020 and have been helping developers and utilities increase project IRR and decrease development risk. Below are a few examples of the work we have done to date:

  • the largest onshore wind farm in Vietnam (multi GW utility)
  • offshore wind in Japan totaling 6GW (developer)
  • onshore wind in Indonesia (developer)
  • onshore wind in Vietnam (diversified corporate)
  • onshore wind in Turkey (multi GW utility)
  • onshore wind in Spain (multi GW developer)
  • onshore wind in New Zealand (provincial utility)
  • onshore wind in India (multi GW developer)

WindDesk is a product and service suite that covers the following:

  1. perform wind resource and energy assessments compliant with state of the art methodologies and validation;
  2. perform optimization and micro-siting based on energy production, civil costing and electrical / transmission BOP losses down to the last meter;
  3. input revenue (energy) and cost into a project finance commercial model;
  4. permutate and iterate all the above for different locations and configurations, in a fully automated manner using AI and software automation.

Using WindDesk, if an engineer (in-house or otherwise) used to be able to manage the development of 1 wind farm, they will now be able to manage 100. If they used to perform 5 permutations on a single wind farm, they will now be able to perform 5,000 with no compromise to precision.

Most importantly, a project development team using WindDesk begins their week knowing that they can perform 5,000 permutations to get the top IRR sites and to pre-empt all development issues coming their way. By applying this approach to their development pipeline, development risk management is fundamentally improved via the ability to simulate all possible futures.

Here are some concrete examples of some of the ways WindDesk has helped our clients gain an edge:

  • Simulating 500,000 potential onshore wind farms in a 200 km x 200 km area in Vietnam of 75-150 MW capacity each and ranking the top 50 by IRR.
  • Permutations of >1,500 fishing area polygons with multiple cost and risk levels, for a 900 MW (~100 turbines) offshore wind farm in Japan so that the customer can pre-empt negotiation positions with a fisheries association (note: this is not just the point placement of the turbines, but the potential snagging of cable paths on the ocean floor with nets)
  • The simulation of either a) using a 40 km network of existing roads exclusively or b) having the freedom to build brand new inter-array roads or c) combining new and existing roads for a 75 MW site in Spain on highly complex terrain, while taking into account electrical losses as the cables typically follow the roads
  • The complete permutation of a) different hub heights, b) different turbine types, c) different total installed capacity and d) different turbine positions for a 200 MW project in India.

Each of the above cases could be completed by one engineer using WindDesk in less than a week. After an initial project setup, future variations can be run within minutes to hours.

The final output is a comprehensive PDF report, itself also automatically generated. WindDesk's optimization targets are directly those metrics used by investment and credit committees to make final decisions (i.e. IRR, LCOE, NPV, DSCR etc.).

Traverse is our designated wind and site engineer for our 6 GW pipeline of offshore wind projects in Japan. Working with Traverse makes us feel like they're part of our in-house team and we appreciate their relentless support without any time barriers. They have helped us achieve extraordinary commercial clarity in every step of the development process due to the exhaustive and precise nature of their simulations. Internally we no longer have to care about investigative time and costs and that freedom is absolutely delightful. "What if we want to try this configuration instead? What if we used this equipment model instead?" questions get easily answered in less than 24 hours by Traverse: "Done. Here’s all the reports, spreadsheets, drawings and the IRR. And here’s five more equipment models we tried." - Mohan Kumar, Director of Development at Influx Inc.

We built WindDesk to help developers who face the following issues:

  • Reverse tariff auctions with limited term, limited allocation PPAs means your entire development capital is at risk if you lose the bid. However underbidding could also impact your divestment.
  • Places where only merchant markets are available means upfront technical performance (low CAPEX, high plant capacity factors) must act as a buffer for merchant, FOREX, OPEX and interest rate risks.
  • Increasing competition on site access and control due to an increase in market entrants and the commoditization of renewables.
  • The need to develop a size-able portfolio of many MWs to GWs at economies of scale for strong divestment positions and therefore the need to develop many projects in parallel.
  • Projects are increasingly being pushed to locations with complex terrain as many eligible flat area resources have been exhausted.

Many customers who speak with us start to assume around this point that we have built a high level estimator of sorts to achieve these speeds and capabilities. However, our methodology and validation for any project we work on is of the same precision, quality and thoroughness of the current industrial state of the art methodology and validation. 

In many cases, we go much deeper such as in the case of road and foundation civil works, we calculate the exact cut and fill excavations at 25m intervals so as to pinpoint civil costs accurately. In the case of grouping inter-array cables to reduce losses while also requiring to bury them next to the access road, we apply well known computer science algorithms such as the “travelling salesman problem” at scale across large areas and permutations.

Our vision is to help developers build the best wind farms, period. We are excited to bring you WindDesk. You can learn more through our case studies here and request for our methodology here and our sample reports here.

We offer your first project entirely free of charge as a pilot! Please contact us at to learn more about this.

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