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 turbines nevertheless represent a large percentage of the generation for small communities. A desire by customers for higher priced green power will be required for wind energy to be economic in all markets in Nunavut. Support from southern Canada is too expensive and slow. it will require better control systems to ensure that they integrate efficiently with the diesel power plant. 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. the two 80 kW units in Kugluktuk could provide up to 60% of the communities generation at some time of the day. operation must become more reliable and this will require training of NP or local contractors to maintain the turbines. In order for wind energy to be successful in the long-term.The units do not operate reliably in cold weather so they require regular maintenance and parts to ensure continued operation of the turbines. The cost of relocating turbines makes expensive projects even more so. 4/24/02 . 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. While small by industry standards. In order for wind energy to be successful. The suppliers are mainly interested in supplying turbines and not in their operation and maintenance. 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. As wind fluctuates. As the load on the diesel engines fluctuates they do not run as efficiently as they could resulting in higher diesel costs. having this much power rising and falling can impact the quality of power. 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. 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. For example. 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. Finally.

7644/litre 4/24/02 .7644/litre.20/kWh. which expires September 30.5881/litre $0. This information represents the most recent available information.5263/litre $0. Note 1 Based on the 1997/98 Plant Efficiency of 3.522 33.067 Payments Fuel Displaced Fuel Displaced ($) (Litres) note 1 ($) note 2 11.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.6276/litre $0. this translates to a fuel cost of $0. 2002. Year 1994 1995 1996 1998 1999 Production (kWh) 57.108 40.413 19.538 122.355 24.416 15.71 kWh/litre.71 kWh/l Note 2 Based on 1994-96 Fuel Price 1997-98 Fuel Price 1999 Fuel Price 2000 Fuel Price $0.040 30.206/kWh.435 14. 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 current price of production fuel in Cambridge Bay is $0.073 41.425 12. The production.576 21. The rate for purchasing energy from the unit is set at $0. purchase payments.097 31.048 19.610 72.191 Production from the Cambridge Bay machine suffered during temperatures lower than -35°C. and fuel displaced are shown in the following table. Using the 1997/98fuel rate of 3. Production was also sensitive to maintenance.385 8.877 22.364 150. 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.080 155. making the current rate for power purchase attractive for the current and future years.

Erection of these units was an expensive learning process for NTPC. there were several problems encountered with the electronic control systems of the machines. The second unit suffered a lightning strike earlier in July/2000. one of the machines fell from its tower after failure of several mounting bolts.000. 4/24/02 . and was the only one of the three locations approved by the Hamlet officials. Ongoing routine maintenance was also a problem in the first two years of operation.298 The turbines in Kugluktuk are owned and operated by NP. After erection in the new location. 2000. and is considered beyond repair.500 was received from Dutch Industries for a re-conditioned turbine to replace the damaged unit. with several extended periods of downtime.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: 254.080 kWh Fuel Displaced (Litres): 68. and resolution of these problems took time due to lack of after sales service from the manufacturer and supplier. causing damage to some of the control circuitry. On July 19. The capital cost for purchase and installation of these two machines in Kugluktuk was $580. Purchased in July 1996. these turbines were the first in NTPC’s wind energy program. this location will require extremefuel cost escalation before wind energy is a viable alternative. as the units were relocated shortly after the foundation construction began. With only $41. 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.298 fuel savings over 28 months. Update (Feb/2002): No further action on failed turbine. Quote of $110. Cambridge Bay unit maintainer has indicated a desire to purchase units and relocate to Cambridge Bay.670 litres Fuel Displaced ($): 41. The original location was one of the three locations recommended by the supplier. This unit has been repaired and is back in service.

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. The foundation and distribution extension for the Rankin turbine were completed in September 1998. mainly due to better economics.000 kWh Annual Fuel Displacement: 41. The shipper agreed to have the structure brought in to Rankin during the winter. Approvals for the site had been received from Transport Canada.000 (2000price) The Rankin Inlet wind turbine was originally destined for Iqaluit. and the turbine and tower were shipped there for installation in 1997. The construction was held up when the control building failed to make shipment into Rankin on the sealift. Government of Nunavut. adding some 90 feet to the Minimum Descent Altitude allowed for the instrument approach in Rankin. 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. At that time the decision was made to relocate the project to Rankin from Iqaluit. 4/24/02 .100 litres Annual Fuel Savings: $24. Before the project could proceed further. Arctic Airports. advised that the location of the unit would interfere with aircraft approaches. and two community consultation/information meetings were held. Supplier problems delayed delivery of the blades until early 1998.

The power purchase price now appears to be better than our avoided cost of diesel. geophysical analysis carried out for design of the foundation. 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 turbine was erected in September 2000.000 kWh Overall Availability 36. The equipment presently installed does not differentiate between down time due to unavailability and down time due to lack of sufficient wind. Benefits and Problems – Discussion: Economics Escalating fuel prices in the Corporation's service area are making wind energy appear more attractive than ever before. and was ready for testing. wind turbine installations require extensive planning.The new site was chosen. (May 10/01 was the last recorded tip brake problem. and pilings installed in early 2000. Several tip brake problems resulted in extensive down time in the first year of operation.3% It should be noted that not all unavailable hours were due to maintenance problems. the turbines had to be relocated before erection was completed. Up until the most recent fuel price increase. June 20/01 to Dec 01/01 the unit operated 2126 hours out of 3936 for 54% availability. For period Nov. 2001: Total Hours 8952 hours Running Hours 3250 hours Production 80. or even a plant upgrade.7% availability. 2000. 23. This situation now exists in several locations with high wind potential. Update(Feb/2002): Turbine in service at end of November. resulting in the unit being unavailable until June 20/01). the output of this unit was being purchased at a loss. In two of the three NTPC owned projects.6% availability Mar 14/01 to June 20/01 the unit operated 229 hours out of 2352 for 9. Nov 23/00 to Mar 14/01 turbine operated 895 hours out of 2664 for 33. It should also be obvious that economic factors 4/24/02 . 2000 to December 1. The Cambridge Bay unit demonstrates this. Planning and Installation Even with attractive economics.

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