Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekly Wind Report

First the good news for wind advocates, this week, wind power broke 40% capacity factor for the first time since I began tracking it.

Bad news, wind power fluctuated wildly across the week, rising as high as 922 MW and sinking as low as 5 MW. If we were only using electricity when the wind blows this wouldn't be a problem, or if we had another way of 'smoothing' out wind power across a week. But we don't, so it is a problem. A problem that is currently addressed by keeping gas or coal fired turbines running ready to go if need be.

A counter-argument might be "but difference in hour to hour output of wind power are not significant enough to require all 1000MW of gas/coal running on standby". Which sounds reasonable on the face of it. So, I will be determining the largest change over an hour to hour period in wind power as well from now on to see how variable wind power is on an hour to hour basis.

Finally, I'm also going to try to include from here out the breakdown of wind power by generating station. (See Figure 1)

Also, to emphasize a point I had made earlier about wind power 'peaking' at low demand times and causing nuclear reactors to be derated or tripped, that 922 MW came in the 10-11pm time period. The lowest output period (5MW) occurred in the 10-11am period about 2 and a half days later.

Capacity factor: 46.48%
Maximum Output: 922 MW
Minimum Output: 5 MW
Biggest change hour-to-hour: 181 MW increase

Figure 1: Wind Production in Ontario, March 10-16 by Wind Farm [1]

[1] All data is publicly available on IESO website.

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拉肚子 said...


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