Wind turbine output a lie (Vermont & NY)
Jan 5, 2012
Engineer demonstrates the “dis-connect” between wind developer claims and actual energy output
—Willem Post *
Kibby Wind Power I and II, a 132 MW windplant, capital cost $330 million, is owned by TransCanada and was built, after a lot of destruction, on one of the most beautiful ridgelines in the State of Maine.
TransCanada and Vestas (the Danish turbine manufacturer) claimed the capacity factor would be 0.32 or greater. According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, “66 MW [became] operational beginning October 16, 2009 and the remaining 66 MW [became] operational beginning November 1, 2010.”
Its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) designation is Trans Canadian Wind Development, Inc., in case you wish to look up the data, below.
In 2009 and 2010, the facility had a lot of startup problems and its energy production was negligible.
In 2011, it had a capacity factor of 22.5% for the first 9 months.
For the 3rd Quarter of 2011, it was 14.42%. Monthly capacity factors were as follows:
Why are the CF’s (Capacity Factor) so low?
Winds on ridgelines have highly-irregular velocities and directions. This does not show up when one does wind velocity testing for feasibility, but when rotors are 373 feet in diameter, one part of a rotor will likely see a different wind velocity & direction from another part.
This results in highly inefficient energy production and CFs. Wind vendors (sellers) are very familiar with this, but neglect to mention it. However, all is explained in this article. I recommend the Vermont Dept. of Public Service and (Vermont) House Environment and Energy Committee, and all others, finally read this article, before “leading” Vermont into an expensive energy La-la-land.
The New York State wind turbine CF’s also do not live up to claims. The Vendor promises were for capacity factors of 30% to 35%, before installation. The reality, after installation:
Installed capacity, MW: 1035.5 in 2008; 1,274 in 2009: 1,274 in 2009; 1,348 in 2010
Production, MWh: 1,282,325 in 2008; 2,108,500 in 2009, 2,532,800 in 2010
Capacity factors: 14.1% in 2008; 18.9% in 2009; 22.7% in 2010
The above data were obtained from the 2011 New York ISO (Independent System Operator) Gold Book.
Because no wind turbines were added during 2010, the 22.7% capacity factor of 2010 is the best proof of the lack of performance of the New York State wind turbine facilities.
This reality is not unique to Maine, Bolton Valley and NY State. It has replicated itself in The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc. The production is invariably less than promised. Add this to the fact that the CO2 emissions reduction is much less than claimed, as shown in these articles (click here and here and here and here and here), and further investments in wind energy clearly become an extremely dubious and expensive proposition.
* Willem Post BSME (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering) New Jersey Institute of Technology, MSME (Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MBA (Masters of Business Administration) University of Connecticut. P.E. Connecticut. Consulting Engineer and Project Manager. Performed feasibility studies, wrote master plans, and evaluated designs for air pollution control systems, power plants, and integrated energy systems for campus-style building complexes. Currently specializing in energy efficiency in buildings.