Production Update April 2007

April was another windy month in a string of windy months. As expected, the output began to decline from the windy winter months, but the wind farm still had a strong showing.

It was the most productive April since 2003 for the original V80. The wind farm produced 1,227,947 kWh, for a net capacity factor of 33.4%. The wind farm produce some power 82% of the time.

The middle turbine lead the way in production, with about 4.5% more output than the south turbine (the V80), which had about 5% more production than the north turbine. The north turbine had a small problem during one of the big wind events, and so lost about 17 hours of peak production. The wind farm has a close working relationship with Murphy. Murphy’s first law of wind farms is that if a failure is going to occur, it will occur early in the evening, as technicians will be available only the next day. Murphy’s second law of wind farms is that failures will only occur during good winds. I think I need to fire Murphy.

The Ferndale project has just finished six months as a wind farm. The two new turbines came on line Oct 31, 2006. From Nov 1 to April 30, the wind farm produced 9,005,000 kWh, for a capacity factor of 40.6%. I expect the capacity factor to be half of this over the next 6 months, as summer winds are much lighter.

While it was a good month in Ferndale, it seemed like an even better month south of the peninsula. The Ferndale wind farm’s 33.4% capacity factor ranked 4th out of 5 for wind farms in the Province on capacity factor, which is below its ranking in previous months. Kingsbridge (Goderich) lead the way at 39.4%, Amaranth (Shelburne) was second, at 36.3%, Port Burwell was third at 35.5%, and the Prince wind farm was fifth at 25.2%. I know there were several major storm systems that tracked across the very southern part of the province that were much less intense on the peninsula, and they may have missed Sault Ste Marie altogether, where the Prince project is located.

Geographic diversity obviously smooths the variability of wind in both the short and long run.

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