Power Switch News
Straight from the mountaintop
TVAs Buffalo Mountain Wind Farm is showing much promise as a member of the Green Power Switch generating lineup. The wind farm has generated 4.8 million kilowatt-hours since its fall 2000 start-up, somewhat less than projected but still a good showing for the plants initial shakedown period. Minor start-up problems have been addressed, and work has been completed on communications equipment that will allow better management and operational control.
Although initial output has been less than anticipated, the wind turbines have functioned extremely well and have been available for production 95 percent of the time since April 2001. Gusty wind conditions and delays in the delivery of replacement parts have been the primary causes of lost production.
Wind-speed variation at the site can be extreme, with wind speeds changing from less than 10 mph to more than 35 mph within a single second and bursts of up to 70 to 100 miles per hour. Under these conditions, sensors cause the wind turbines to go offline, and they have to be manually inspected before they can be returned to service.
Wind measurements continue to be recorded at the Buffalo Mountain site. Additional data will be gathered over the next several years to help improve the accuracy of long-term projections on wind resources in the region. Based on data from the first year of operations, the production output is expected to be 4.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
Wind direction and velocity