Stellar Wind Power Production in the USA

The Rocky Ridge and Chisholm View wind farms are operating with a capacity factor of 60-65 percent and offering daily production that is equivalent to the consumption of around 185,000 US households.

‘Stellar production levels’, is how renewable energy magazine ReCharge describes Enel Green Power’s wind power performance in the early weeks of this year, which saw its plants achieve record production levels in the face of a spell of harsh weather conditions that brought first ice, snow and gusts of wind exceeding 60 kilometres per hour, then maximum temperatures of up to 24°C and humidity values of less than 15 percent.

The stellar production of EGP’s wind power in the USA cited by ReCharge refers specifically to the large Rocky Ridge and Chisholm View wind farms in Oklahoma, which is producing with a capacity factor of 60-65 percent that has been helped by very strong winds, and a total daily production exceeding five gigawatt-hours that meets the daily needs of some 185,000 American households.

The performance of the two US wind farms is the result of a combination of factors, including the unusual weather conditions, the extension of the farms, optimisation of activities and the management of plants by the employees of Enel Green Power North America and the Operation & Maintenance centre.

The action taken by O&M under extreme weather conditions has enabled record performance and high levels of technical availability of the facilities, all of in total safety. The results achieved by the two wind farms have been made possible by a number of integrated activities put in place some time ago in order to streamline operations and the performance of wind farms, including:

· Performance management for each EGP turbine based on the lost production factor;
· Optimisation of maintenance contracts;
· Optimisation of logistics;
· Setting up effective efficiency procedures;
· Setting up a solid support organisation;
· Monitoring and support systems

Its US plants helped EGP achieve its global record on 5 January, when the business’ facilities reached a daily production peak of 114.3GWh. Wind power had the lion’s share in this record, with its production of 67GWh, and the performance of plants in the USA (22GWh), Spain (19GWh) and Italy (9.4GWh) led to production that exceeded expectations by 62.6 percent.