Production Update March 2007

March was a productive month for the Ferndale wind farm.

Production was 1,689,060 kWh, which works out to a 44.5% capacity factor.  March came in like a lion, and stayed a lion as far as winds go, but perhaps a younger, more timid lion towards the end of the month.  The wind farm produced power 88% of the time.

This is the first month where the V80 outproduced the V82’s, but only by a little.  The middle turbine (V82) had about 30 hours of downtime while Vestas installed some vibration sensing equipment, so this would explain some of the production difference.  The vibration monitoring equipment is will allow them to monitor real field experience, and make adjustments to minimize vibration in this relatively new tower design.  There is a container in the top that is filled with oil, which will dampen vibrations caused by wind, as it will oscillate at a different frequency than the tower itself.  This container can be adjusted up or down, or the amount of oil in it can be varied.  The rest of the difference could be due to wind direction.  The V80 may work better when winds are from a certain direction.

The other wind farms in Ontario had good month’s too.  The Amaranth project near Shelburne operated at a 43.5% capacity factor, the Kingsbridge project operated at 46.5%, Port Burwell operated at 40%, and the Prince project near the Sault operated at 39.7%.

The winds are very likely to decrease for the rest of spring and summer months.  It has been a good winter to have good winds, as the first year of production from new machines is rather critical to the financial viability of a project.  It is good to keep the banker happy.

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