Production Update June/July

Production from the Ferndale and Ravenswood wind farms showed a big divergence in June and July.  There is no better demonstration of the value of geographic dispersion of wind farms than these two months.

In June, the 5.1 MW Ferndale wind farm produced 918,000 kWh, 33% higher than a year ago.  The capacity factor was 25%, the highest of any wind farm in the province for the month.  The second closest was Port Burwell which came in at 21.3%.  July dropped to 904,000 kWh, or 23.8%, again the highest capacity factor in the province for the month.  The Ferndale facility produced power 81% of the time during June and July.
Camp Celtic, on the Lake Huron side of the Peninsula teaches sailing to their campers.  One of the drills they have is to tip the sailboat over, and right it, to familiarize the kids with how to do this, and reduce their fears.  Normally this is planned for once per session.  But with all the wind, the boats have been overturning with fair regularity – no need to have a special session!

The 9.9 MW Ravenswood wind farm near Grand Bend, by contrast, has been having a more normal summer.  June production was 1,456,221 kWh, for a 20.4% capacity factor, and July was 1,302,907 kWh, for a 17.7% capacity factor, which is about what the rest of Ontario’s wind farms averaged.  The Ravenswood facility produced power 72% of the time in June, and 66% of the time in July.

Interestingly, the IESO estimates that wind makes a contribution to provincial supply of 17% capacity factor in the summer months.  They called it exactly right for July, but underestimated the contribution for June, apart from the planned outage at Amaranth to install a substation for their planned expansion.

Wind is always stronger in the winter, but there is still wind in the summer, and sometimes, the wind occurs on the hottest days, as Ontario’s hot weather usually blows in from the US.  And spreading wind farms around reduces the variability of wind considerably.

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