Wind Power Generation

NP's Wind turbine at Rankin Inlet

Background: In the nineties NP’s predecessor the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) had been under pressure from customers, its shareholder, environmental regulators and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to generate power utilizing wind. Wind energy is being used increasingly in other parts of the world and it was felt that it would be a less expensive form of power than diesel. In response to these requests the Board of Directors of NTPC approved a developmental wind program in 1996. At that time it was recognized that wind generation would not be cost effective compared to diesel. Wind power has a low operational cost but the high capital cost relative to the output makes wind power more expensive than diesel. However, the program was approved to gain practical experience with wind energy in the North so that when it became cost effective the Corporation would be ready to adopt it on a large-scale basis for the benefit of its customers. NP is now involved in three wind farms. As a small utility, the wind turbines NP requires are very small by industry standards. There are only two suppliers of turbines less that 100 kW that NP can make use of and NP has utilized both suppliers with limited success. They have not been able to supply equipment when promised resulting in significant project delays. In order for wind energy to be successful in the long-term NP will need to identify a reliable supplier of equipment.


The cost of relocating turbines makes expensive projects even more so. The Corporation has gained valuable experience so far from its developmental wind program that will assist when wind energy becomes a viable source of power in the long-term. the two 80 kW units in Kugluktuk could provide up to 60% of the communities generation at some time of the day. As the load on the diesel engines fluctuates they do not run as efficiently as they could resulting in higher diesel costs. While small by industry standards. Once these units have operated for another 12-24 months and there is better information on the on-going costs and reliability the need for additional projects will be reviewed. operation must become more reliable and this will require training of NP or local contractors to maintain the turbines. 4/24/02 . Support from southern Canada is too expensive and slow. One of the communities required that we move the units after installation had begum even though the community had approved the original site. the reliability of the community's power and the cost of the remaining diesel power. the turbines nevertheless represent a large percentage of the generation for small communities. Finally. In order for wind energy to be successful in the long-term it must be ensured that the community fully understands and supports the project before it is undertaken. In order for wind energy to be successful in the long-term. In order for wind energy to be successful. having this much power rising and falling can impact the quality of power.The units do not operate reliably in cold weather so they require regular maintenance and parts to ensure continued operation of the turbines. A desire by customers for higher priced green power will be required for wind energy to be economic in all markets in Nunavut. the economics of wind energy need to dramatically improve for it to become a viable source of power in the long-term for all Nunavut customers. For now NP will monitor the three wind farms in place and continue to develop solutions for the problems identified so that when wind energy is economic it will be a reliable source of power. For example. As wind fluctuates. it will require better control systems to ensure that they integrate efficiently with the diesel power plant. The suppliers are mainly interested in supplying turbines and not in their operation and maintenance.

This information represents the most recent available information.364 150.576 21. Note 1 Based on the 1997/98 Plant Efficiency of 3.5881/litre $0. which expires September 30.048 19.073 41.7644/litre 4/24/02 . this translates to a fuel cost of $0.71 kWh/l Note 2 Based on 1994-96 Fuel Price 1997-98 Fuel Price 1999 Fuel Price 2000 Fuel Price $0.7644/litre. and suffered whenever the Dutch Industries maintainer was out of town or too busy with his other duties to carry out the necessary routine maintenance.877 22.610 72. The production. Production was also sensitive to maintenance.416 15. The energy produced by the turbine is purchased by the Corporation in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in a power purchase agreement. The rate for purchasing energy from the unit is set at $0. and fuel displaced are shown in the following table.5263/litre $0.425 12.435 14.71 kWh/litre.413 19.355 24.067 Payments Fuel Displaced Fuel Displaced ($) (Litres) note 1 ($) note 2 11. purchase payments.20/kWh. making the current rate for power purchase attractive for the current and future years. Year 1994 1995 1996 1998 1999 Production (kWh) 57.080 155.206/kWh.191 Production from the Cambridge Bay machine suffered during temperatures lower than -35°C. The current price of production fuel in Cambridge Bay is $0. 2002.522 33.538 122.6276/litre $0. Using the 1997/98fuel rate of 3.097 31.385 8.108 40.040 30.Current Projects: Cambridge Bay Turbine Type: Lagerwey LW18/80 Rated Output: 80 kW In-service Date: September 1994 The Cambridge Bay wind project is owned and operated by Dutch Industries Ltd.

With only $41. The original location was one of the three locations recommended by the supplier.500 was received from Dutch Industries for a re-conditioned turbine to replace the damaged unit. On July 19.000.670 litres Fuel Displaced ($): 41. Cambridge Bay unit maintainer has indicated a desire to purchase units and relocate to Cambridge Bay.080 kWh Fuel Displaced (Litres): 68. there were several problems encountered with the electronic control systems of the machines. 2000.298 The turbines in Kugluktuk are owned and operated by NP. This unit has been repaired and is back in service. as the units were relocated shortly after the foundation construction began. Further research by the Corporation into siting of locations led to agreement with opponents of the location that the location was too close to occupied buildings to guarantee an acceptable margin of safety. one of the machines fell from its tower after failure of several mounting bolts. and was the only one of the three locations approved by the Hamlet officials. Purchased in July 1996. Ongoing routine maintenance was also a problem in the first two years of operation. this location will require extremefuel cost escalation before wind energy is a viable alternative. The capital cost for purchase and installation of these two machines in Kugluktuk was $580. with several extended periods of downtime.298 fuel savings over 28 months. causing damage to some of the control circuitry. and resolution of these problems took time due to lack of after sales service from the manufacturer and supplier.Kugluktuk Turbine Type: 2 x Lagerwey LW18/80 Rated Output: 2 x 80 kW Installation Date: October 1996 In-service Date: April 1997 Total Generation to August 1999: 254. Erection of these units was an expensive learning process for NTPC. these turbines were the first in NTPC’s wind energy program. The second unit suffered a lightning strike earlier in July/2000. Quote of $110. Update (Feb/2002): No further action on failed turbine. After erection in the new location. 4/24/02 . and is considered beyond repair.

Supplier problems delayed delivery of the blades until early 1998. The construction was held up when the control building failed to make shipment into Rankin on the sealift. and two community consultation/information meetings were held. The shipper agreed to have the structure brought in to Rankin during the winter.000 (2000price) The Rankin Inlet wind turbine was originally destined for Iqaluit. Approvals for the site had been received from Transport Canada. mainly due to better economics. Arctic Airports. Before the project could proceed further.100 litres Annual Fuel Savings: $24. At that time the decision was made to relocate the project to Rankin from Iqaluit.000 kWh Annual Fuel Displacement: 41. 4/24/02 . and the turbine and tower were shipped there for installation in 1997. The foundation and distribution extension for the Rankin turbine were completed in September 1998. It was decided that the turbine would be relocated to another location farther from the airport rather than risk having a negative impact on the community. Government of Nunavut. advised that the location of the unit would interfere with aircraft approaches.Rankin Inlet Wind Turbine 1 Rankin Inlet Turbine Type: Atlantic Orient AOC15/50 Rated Output: 66 kW Installation Date: September 2000 In-service Date: November 2000 Generation to Date: Not Available Estimated Annual Generation: 152. adding some 90 feet to the Minimum Descent Altitude allowed for the instrument approach in Rankin.

The equipment presently installed does not differentiate between down time due to unavailability and down time due to lack of sufficient wind. and pilings installed in early 2000. This situation now exists in several locations with high wind potential. resulting in the unit being unavailable until June 20/01). Benefits and Problems – Discussion: Economics Escalating fuel prices in the Corporation's service area are making wind energy appear more attractive than ever before. 23. The turbine was erected in September 2000. For period Nov. It should also be obvious that economic factors 4/24/02 . June 20/01 to Dec 01/01 the unit operated 2126 hours out of 3936 for 54% availability. Nov 23/00 to Mar 14/01 turbine operated 895 hours out of 2664 for 33. geophysical analysis carried out for design of the foundation. (May 10/01 was the last recorded tip brake problem. The power purchase price now appears to be better than our avoided cost of diesel.The new site was chosen.3% It should be noted that not all unavailable hours were due to maintenance problems. the output of this unit was being purchased at a loss. 2000. and was ready for testing.6% availability Mar 14/01 to June 20/01 the unit operated 229 hours out of 2352 for 9. Update(Feb/2002): Turbine in service at end of November. In two of the three NTPC owned projects. or even a plant upgrade.000 kWh Overall Availability 36. 2001: Total Hours 8952 hours Running Hours 3250 hours Production 80.7% availability. Planning and Installation Even with attractive economics. 2000 to December 1. wind turbine installations require extensive planning. Up until the most recent fuel price increase. the turbines had to be relocated before erection was completed. Several tip brake problems resulted in extensive down time in the first year of operation. It is obvious from these experiences that the installation of a wind turbine in a community cannot proceed along the same schedule as a diesel capacity increase. The Cambridge Bay unit demonstrates this.

as outlined by the manufacturer.alone do not make the project acceptable. A wind turbine project requires a minimum of one year pre-planning prior to even purchasing the unit. effect on the electrical supply. must be strictly adhered to. 4/24/02 . etc. If the community does not fully buy in to the project. In order to achieve the operational availability required to operate these machines economically. and by the Corporation's own resources. The community must be fully involved. especially if the expertise must be flown in from the south. and be made fully aware of proposed location. Because of these factors. Maintenance Wind turbines are machines that require constant monitoring and maintenance if full potential production is to be achieved. The economics also cannot support the machine being down for extensive periods of time because trained maintenance personnel are not available to put the units back into service. and possibly adjusted to meet the demands of the harsh operating climate the Corporation experiences. A preventive maintenance program. possible economic and environmental benefits. The economics of these machines on the Corporation's systems cannot support contract maintenance. the difficulties involved in bringing the project to a successful completion are increased considerably. some of the best wind resources are marginal overall. the maintenance must be carried out as required.

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