Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methods are used in this paper to predict the power production from entire wind farms in complex terrain and to shed some light into the wake flow patterns. Two full three-dimensional Navier–Stokes solvers for incompressible fluid flow, employing k − ϵ and k − ω turbulence closures, are used. The wind turbines are modeled as momentum absorbers by means of their thrust coefficient through the actuator disk approach. Alternative methods for estimating the reference wind speed in the calculation of the thrust are tested. The work presented in this paper is part of the work being undertaken within the UpWind Integrated Project that aims to develop the design tools for next generation of large wind turbines. In this part of UpWind, the performance of wind farm and wake models is being examined in complex terrain environment where there are few pre-existing relevant measurements. The focus of the work being carried out is to evaluate the performance of CFD models in large wind farm applications in complex terrain and to examine the development of the wakes in a complex terrain environment. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.