Capacity Factor (Efficiency) Given as a Percentage of the Nameplate Power Output: July 2009 – June 2010
|Month||Amar-anth||Kings-bridge||Port Alma||Port Burwell||Prince||Ripley||Under-wood||Wolfe Island||Overall|
The table shows the monthly capacity factor for the Ontario wind farms for the year July 2009 to June 2010. The capacity factor is the actual power output divided by the nameplate power; it is given as a percentage. The nameplate for each wind farm is given in the second row. As an example, consider the July-09 entry for Amaranth: The average hourly output for that month was 32 MW. Dividing by the nameplate power of 200 MW, we get 16%. The row labeled Annual Average is the 12-month average.
The bottom line is that the Ontario wind energy system produced an average power output of 280 MW, about one third of one coal plant. This is enough to power the needs of 200,000 homes. This number is based upon Hydro One’s figures of 850 kWh per month for an Ontario home without electric heat and 1700 kWh for a home with electric heat. I have assumed an average of 1000 kWh per month for an average home. This 280 MW output is less than 1% of the electrical energy capacity available to Ontario (31.5 GW on December 30th, 2009 at noon) and about 1.5% of the typical demand (19 GW on December 30th, 2009 at noon, including 2 GW for export).
On the same date, December 30th 2009, that the above numbers for Ontario’s power generating capacity and power demand were recorded, the fraction of the Ontario energy supply that was “green” (nuclear, hydroelectric and wind) was 80%. The European protestors at Copenhagen who awarded Canada the “fossil of the year” award can only dream about such a high fraction of ”green” electrical energy in their home countries! Manitoba and Quebec have “green” electrical energy ratios similarly high because of their abundance of hydroelectricity.
It is instructive to consider the variation of the annual average capacity factor of the Ontario wind generating plants from year to year. This can only be done for the complete years of operation of the plants. Amaranth was brought on line in 2006 and enlarged during the 2008 – 2009 year. It is clear from the capacity factors of plants operating back to 2006 that 2009 – 2010 was a poor year across Ontario. It is not clear if this is a trend or a fluctuation. If a trend, the reason could be wear and tear and down time for maintenance. If a fluctuation, then the Ontario system could expect an annual average capacity factor close to 30%.
Annual Average Capacity Factor (Efficiency) Given as a Percentage of the Nameplate Power Output.
|YearJuly to June||Amaranth 1||Amaranth 1&2||Kings bridge||Port Alma||Port Burwell||Prince||Ripley||Under wood||Wolfe Island|
|2006 – 2007||30||33||29|
|2007 – 2008||29||35||27||29|
|2008 – 2009||33||28||27||33|
|2009 – 2010||24||28||34||25||24||26||26||24|
John Harrison – July 2010.