Production Update Feb 2007

The wind farm set a new record for production since the 2 new turbines were installed on Oct 31, 2006.  The 5.1 MW wind farm produced  a net of 1,790 MWh, for a capacity factor of 52%.  And this was in a 28 day month!  February was a Goldilocks month.  Not too windy.  Not too calm.  But just right.

There were a couple of small maintenance issues.  The middle turbine was shut down for a few hours, to replace an amometer.  The whole wind farm was shut down for a few hours while we did some testing of transfer trip, a Hydro One requirement.  But overall, the wind farm had very good availability.
The wind farm produced at least some power more than 95% of the time.

The rest of the wind farms in Ontario seemed to also have a good month.  The 67 MW Amaranth project, at Shelburne, produced 22,542 MWh, or 49.7% capacity factor.  The 40 MW Kingsbridge project, near Goderich, produced 15,333 MWh, or 58% capacity factor.  The 99 MW Erie Shores project, produced 31,798 MWh, or 47.8% capacity factor.  The 189 MW Prince Project, near the Sault, produced 43,382 MWh, or 34.2% capacity factor.

So in total, Ontario’s wind farms who’s information is public, plus Ferndale, produced 114, 855 MWh.  If this February’s demand for power in Ontario was the same as last year, this would be about 0.9% of total demand.  Not bad for 5 reporting wind farms, at this early stage in Ontario’s wind development.  This February’s demand may well have been higher, though, due to the cold weather.  While 0.9% may not sound like much, consider that coal provided only 16% of Ontario’s power over the past year.  Wind took a bite out of fossil use this month.
Why did these projects have different capacity factors?  Different models and equipment will have different capacity factors in the same wind regime.    Different locations.  There seemed top be several storms that blew through the south part of the province, that nipped Ferndale, but missed the Sault.  Don’t worry.  They will get their storms too.

As I write this, the winds on the Ferndale flats are howling at 15 m/sec (60 km/hr), down from 19 m/sec a couple of hours ago, as I drove home through the snow.  March has come in like a lion.

It’s enough to make me into a cat person.

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