I promised in an earlier posting that I would provide some of the responses I’ve received from AIM with regards to my enquiries and concerns about their Wind project in my area.
AIM in its response to my questions with regards to their Environmental Screening Report, included the following:
My comment: AIM stipulates that they will provide electricity 65% to 75% of the time. Most literature sites wind as providing electricity at 25 % to 33% of their capacity.
This is AIM’s response: “Wind farms operate the equivalent of 25 to 33% ot the time at their nominal capacity (which is called the capacity factor), but wind farms are in operation – providing electricity at equal or less than their nominal capacity approximately 65-75% of the time”
So if I’m interpreting this correctly, wind is providing on average 25 to 33% of their capacity only 65% to 75% of the time. Seems to me every other generating facility is available 100% of the time at 100% of their capacity except for those times they are under maintenance. I just received a note from a contact in Port Burwell. He tells me that most days there are at least 7 – 8 pickup trucks constantly going back and forth from transformer station to 65 wind turbines. Apparently 33 of those GE turbines have also received new gearing mechanisms only after 3 years of full operation. That kind of runs contrary to AIM’s statement in their ESR document which states “that wind generation projects require very little maintenance relative to fossil fuel plants.” When I requested what kind of data AIM used to substantiate this claim I was responsed with “AIM is not required to supply this information under the provincial ESR requirements”
Note also that wind developers like to over estimate the number of houses for which they can provide electricity.
AIM indicated that their Harrow Wind project would generate enough electricity for to supply 10,000 household. I challenged that statement and this is AIM’s response: “The estimation is correct and takes into account the fact that wind turbines do not produce energy 100% of the time, but rather the equivalent of approximately 30% of the time at maximum capacity (this percentage notion is called the Capacity Factor).
So now we are down to 30% availability. If you use an estimate of 650 home per MW,(I’ve seen this range from 500 to 800 homes per MW) a 40 MW project would provide only 7800 homes.
With these kind of answers, it’s pretty clear to me that AIM is carrying their bell in their beak.