June Production Update

Happy Canada Day. The pipers must be warming up for the big Lion’s Head Canada Day parade tonight. The roads are busy with tourist. Every room and campsite is full. But of course none of this matters. All that matters is how much wind there was in June.

And, as expected, there wasn’t much. June, July and August are traditionally the weakest months for wind, and this June was no exception. The wind farm produced 687,194 kWh. That’s less than 40% of the power that was produced in windy February. That is very normal – summer winds are much lighter than winter winds.

The capacity factor came in a 18.7% for the wind farm as a whole. The original V80, with its 1.8 MW generator, significantly underperformed the new ones. This is expected, as the new turbines, with their smaller 1.65 MW generators, lower cut in wind speed, and bigger blades, will perform better in light winds. The V80 produced 207,421 KWh. The middle V82 produced 257,078 kWh. And the north turbine produced 228,541 KWh. So the new turbines produced 17% more than the original turbine. There was some downtime on the north tubine to replace the computer. It seemed to be having some problems, and was causing the pitch oil pump to stay on all the time, which made the oil too hot, thus shutting down the turbine for a few minutes at a time on hot days. We suspect the problem with the computer goes back to installation, when desicant (water absorbing material) got loose, creating a lot of dust that is not good for electronics.

It would seem that all of Ontario’s wind farms produced fairly lightly, but there is perhaps a pattern that may need more research. Amaranth (Shelburne), the only inland wind farm, lead the way at 20.8% capacity factor. Do inland wind farms perform better in early summer, while the lakes are still cold? It certainly make sense that they would have more thermal activity due to the warming of the land. Kingsbridge (Goderich) had an 18.5% capacity factor. Port Burwell (Lake Erie) was 16.5%, and the Prince project (Sault Ste. Marie) was 15.9%.
Always keep in mind that different equipment will have a different capacity factor in the same wind. The Kingsbridge project uses Vestas V80’s. The other 3 wind farms use GE equipment. And Ferndale has a V80 and 2 V82’s.

Even in a light wind month, the wind farm produced at least some power 70% of the time.

Happy 140th Canada!

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