I know … drives me nuts too! These wind folks have taken the Three Card Monte to incredibly new heights.
Here’s the latest from Oregon.
Suzlon has a press release which included this: “We are proud to be marking the one-year anniversary of our Oregon projects as they’ve surpassed an average 97 percent availability throughout the first year,” said Andris Cukurs, CEO of Suzlon Wind Energy Corp.
So you might think that 97% is pretty incredible output for wind farms … right up there with fossil and nuclear. Heck, the 400 MW of Suzlon’s installed capacity in the great state of Oregon would be pumping out 388 MW. But I thought it odd they didn’t brag about that level of production, since they’re constantly being hammered for the incredibly poor performance of their huge erector sets.
Sure enough, when you look at the statement, there’s that key word – 97% availability. Gee, where have I seen that before? So maybe the Suzlon units are in the 25% range, no better than the rest.
Off we go to Horizon Wind Energy, one of the folks running the Suzlon units, where I find the 97 MW Wheat Field Wind Farm. If there operating at 97% as Suzlon would like you to believe, the output would be around 94 MW.
On Horizon’s web site the list the customer for the electricity from Wheat Field as Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1. The Snohomish County PUD web site lists Wheat Field as one of it’s wind assets and states this, “This 97 megawatt project is located near the City of Arlington, in north central Oregon. The project has 46 turbines and an estimated annual output of 28 average megawatts.”
Sorry to report that even the Snohomish County PUD number is high. According to the EIA, the Wheat Field Wind Farm actual 2009 output was, on average, 19.8 MW, a meager 20.4%
I’ll just accept that Mr. Cukurs was trying to find a silver lining in the wind energy cloud. He really meant that the turbines were ready to turn 97% of the time … if a breeze happened to come by … with enough ummphh to actually turn the blades … hopefully when someone needed it … and the grid had a space for it.
I don’t think I’ll waste any more time on this. I should have known better than to believe the wind hype anyway.
If you want, you can dig through the EIA XL spreadsheet to confirm my numbers. It’s here.
Yes, I know it’s not as easy to read as the IESO wind tracker. I don’t know why the US wind business makes it so difficult, unless they don’t want you to know.
Misinformation is the wind developer’s friend.