October 2007 Production Update

The Ferndale wind farm had considerable maintenance performed in October, but despite this, had decent production. October had incredibly beautiful and warm weather, but had decent but not spectacular wind.

The two new turbines had their one year check up. This involved torquing all the bolts in the tower, and a variety of other routine maintenance. It took about 3 working days for each turbine. At the end of October, the original V80 had its capacitor banks replaced. The factory engineers had determined that this was necessary preventative maintenance, and it took the turbine out of service for 5 full days (not just working hours), three of which were in October. A team from Denmark did the retrofit.  We should be ready for winter.
The wind farm produced a total of 1,181,022 kWh, for a capacity factor of 31%. It would have been quite a bit higher without the maintenance downtime, as some of the maintenance was performed in high winds.  The Ferndale wind farm also passed its first year with three turbines on October 31, producing a total of 14,514 MWh, achieving an average capacity factor for the year of 32.4%.
In October, Amaranth (Shelburne) came it at 31.3% capacity factor, Kingsbridge (Goderich) was 39.1%, Port Burwell was 32.3%, and Prince (Sault Ste Marie) was 38%. So wind made a decent contribution to supply.

The price of electricity in the spot market was quite low – it averaged only 4.46 cents/kWh when the Ferndale farm was producing – despite significant outages at the province’s nuclear units. The reason was likely the low demand resulting from warm weather for October that required no electricity for heating or cooling in Ontario’s customers for much of the month. As I write this, 2 of the operating Bruce units are down, two of the Pickering units are down (and have been for a long time), and one of the Darlington units is down. That’s almost 3000 MW of supply that is out of commission.

I guess we can only hope that the weather stays mild, but that may be wishful thinking. I drove through snow showers on the way home tonight.

Leave a Reply