Target: Governor of Maine, Paul LePage
Goal: Commend First Wind for installing new efficiency controls to maximize energy output on two wind farms in Maine.
The wind energy company known as First Wind has recently agreed to have General Electric install its specialized WindCONTROL software at two of First Wind’s farms in Maine to heighten efficiency at the sites and reduce wear and tear on the turbines. The advanced system will regulate wind turbine curtailment by monitoring ramp rates and effectively dealing with power spikes. Commend First Wind for its commitment to pursuing sustainable practices ad saving money, materials, and the environment.
General Electric’s technology will be installed on First Wind’s sites in Rollins and Stetson. Rollins Wind is a 60MW site comprised of 40 1.5MW turbines, supplying generating capacity equivalent to about 23,000 homes. The Stetson Wind site contains 55 1.5MW turbines for a total capacity of 83MW, the equivalent energy use of about 30,000 New England homes. First Wind has selected GE as its provider for First Wind’s entire fleet of 264 wind turbines across eight states in the nation. The new curtailment software for these sites will be extremely beneficial to both First Wind and the environment.
Wind turbine curtailment is the process that takes place when any number of conditions come together creating a situation where not all of the machines at a given farm should be operating at once. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Wind speeds can be too slow for effective generation or even too fast for turbines to operate safely. Occasionally, a farm will generate too much electricity to be handled by the local power grid and need to temporarily reduce output for safety. Machines placed in close proximity can affect localized wind patterns leading to greater efficiency being achieved through the operation of such turbines at lower than maximum capacity, and in some cases, certain jurisdictions require that some turbines be shut down at specific times to avoid excess noise.
On many wind farms, the process of curtailment is handled by simple control systems that can only stop and start turbines, which leads to excessive energy waste. The sudden starts and stops are stressful on the turbines as well, causing shorter operations lifespans. Said First Wind’s Vice President of Operations EJ Martin, “The effect of curtailment on wind turbines has been an area of concern for us. The application of GE’s WindCONTROL technology to our wind turbines in Maine will help the units maximize energy capture while mitigating the strain on our units as we regulate power production.”
First Wind’s choice to install GE’s advanced technology at the Maine wind farms is valuable for both companies, for the citizens of Maine receiving clean emissions free power generation, and for the environment. Commend First Wind for their commitment to sustainable business practices.
Dear Governor LePage,
The Maine wind energy company First Wind has recently agreed to have General Electric install its new WindCONTROL technology at two of its wind farms in Rollins and Stetson. This new advanced curtailment technology will increase efficiency of the wind sites while reducing wear and tear on the turbines to increase operation lifespans of the machinery. First Wind’s Maine sites making use of the upgrades have 95 1.5MW turbines in total, which together generate enough power to supply approximately 53,000 New England homes.
Wind turbine curtailment is a process in which individual turbines are ramped down or shut off temporarily for any number of reasons, including reducing noise, avoiding turbine damage and preventing local grid overloads. First Wind’s choice to install GE’s advanced technology is valuable for both companies, for the citizens of Maine receiving clean emissions-free power generation, and for the environment. I urge you to commend First Wind for their commitment to sustainable, green business practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alan Fryer via geograph.org