BigWind should pray that this data doesn’t become well known. It is absolutely pathetic, to see capacity factors of less than 15% in California! What a waste of our taxdollars and land. This data coincides with the problems that BigWind experiences every summer. In the dog days of summer, when we have high energy needs for running air conditioners, turbines often sit idle. Don’t believe me? You can find California production data on Youtube, month-by-month, and see it for yourself. The same is true across the globe. They produce most of their energy during the change of seasons. So, the question is this: WHAT will produce our energy when the turbines don’t spin? This administration is closing coal plants, rapidly, and making it virtually impossible to build new natural gas and nuclear plants….
…Data shows a significant drop-off of wind power sales in California due to warm weather, which caused a drop in wind velocities. Is it possible that wind farms that so many believe will help mitigate the warming of a changing climate will instead be impaired by that very same warming?
The initial numbers that have emerged are striking.
First, analysts have estimated that wind speeds in the first half of the first quarter in California were off by as much as 20%, or more, from normal averages. The lower wind speeds were caused, it has been argued, by a warmer than-average winter. As is widely understood, the state is suffering from a multi-year drought and a consequent water shortage.
Data released by Vaisala, a Finnish company that studies the wind for clients developing wind projects, has been widely quoted in the last couple of months….
Now, the first quarter sales of wholesale wind power that owners of wind farms are required to report to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are in, and the numbers are stark.
Wholesale power sales from wind generators in California in the first quarter of this year fell an eye-opening 32.7% compared to sales in the first quarter of 2014.
Forty-eight wind farms in California sold 1.304 million MWh of wind power in the California Independent System Operator market in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 1.936 million MWh sold in Q1 2014, according to data filed with FERC and other government agencies and compiled by Platts.
The roughly 630,000 MWh sales decline came despite a 197-MW increase in available wind capacity during the year. Capacity grew from 4,275 MW to 4,472 MW by the first quarter of 2015.
The state’s wind generators thus operated at a capacity factor of just 13.5% in the first quarter of 2015, a significant drop from the 21% capacity factor at which they operated in the first quarter of 2014.
The FERC wholesale wind power sales data shows that 42 out of 44 wind farms in California that had sales in the first quarter of 2014 have seen their Q1 2015 sales decline. There were four facilities that had no sales in Q4 2014.
One of the biggest declines has come at Pattern Energy’s 265-MW Ocotillo wind farm in the Imperial Valley, in the state’s most southern region. Ocotillo, which sells power to San Diego Gas & Electric, saw its sales fall 45.5% in the first quarter of this year over the first quarter of last….