Standard Offer is Go – March 21

From OSEA:

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived! The Ministry of Energy, the Premier, David Suzuki and OSEA will be announcing the Standard Offer Program on March 21st. We are organizing a celebration and press event in partnership with the Ministry of Energy that will take place at 3 pm at Exhibition Place, Toronto, home to Ontario’s first community wind turbine.

Please mark this date in your calendar and watch for further notices (via email and at www.ontario-sea.org) on details regarding location, speakers and entertainment.

This is a celebratory event – please everyone, let us celebrate the positive role the Standard Offer Contract program will play in Ontario for renewables, for community power, for cost effective power, and for our air quality and health!

Thanks to everyone for their efforts!

If the province has got this right, we really will see a lot more wind power in Ontario.

We have turbines running at Kingsbridge!

We have turbines running at Kingsbridge! Here’s the official news release.

(I had a picture here, but it wsn’t very good. Sorry.)

little turbine on the desk

GE 'Your Wind Turbine In A Box'

I’ve finally managed to snag a model wind turbine. Thanks to Jay Wilgar at AIM Powergen, I now have a GE Your Wind Turbine in a Box 1/265 scale turbine, complete with tiny plastic cow.

part of the landscape

51c wind turbine stamp
I see that wind turbines make it on to the recent 51 cent stamp series. I guess they’re part of the landscape now.
(Would it be astonishingly churlish of me to point out that the flag is flying one way, and the turbines facing the other?)

Schultze Gets The Blues

from Schultze gets the Blues
It’s German, it’s funny (no, really), and it has wind turbines in it. Horst Krause is wonderful as the retired and bewildered Schultze, as he makes his quest for musical identity in the Deep South.

O turbine thou art sick

We had a component failure on the WindShare turbine today. Just when the winds have got really good, too. We know how to fix it, it’s just a matter of getting the people and the parts together.

queen west

Went to Canzine today after meeting. Can you belive it, an almost full house and it was a silent meeting?

Anyway, Canzine was full. Bought a couple of Spacing TTC buttons to show my commuter tribe affiliation (Kennedy — Union), and also a m@b book. Eveyone’s favourite Bramptonian Friendly Rich was there, being friendly and well-dressed. Jim Munroe looked in his element in his No Media Kings room.

After that, I walked down to the turbine. The warm weather had brought the ladybirds out. They were all over the deck.

review of CanWEA 2005 swag bag

So I’m at the 2005 CanWEA conference for the next few days. The swag bag is a standard nondescript nylon thing, thankfully big enough to take my iBook and a few other bits and pieces. The contents are a bit disappointing, though:

  • a very plasticky flashlight that I may discard after harvesting its batteries.
  • a small bag of jujubes.
  • a copy of North American Windpower magazine (which in itself is quite a decent magazine, so is actually one of the highlights).
  • a trade show guide, but no conference program (they were held up in customs; can’t we print ’em here?)
  • various company brochures, zzzz.

You’ll note an absence of useful pens, pads, USB keys, model turbines, or other special swag. I was hoping for more …

Debunking the 25% Myth

My dad called yesterday, asking, “Wind turbines do run for more than 25% of the time, don’t they?”. Seems he read an opinion piece in his favourite fair ‘n’ balanced rag (The Telegraph) that said that wind turbines only run 25% of the time.

I see this factoid popping up more and more from the anti-wind crowd. It’s a particularly difficult one to refute in the press, as by the time you’ve tried to explain the difference between capacity factor and operation time, you’ve lost them. Or gone over your allotted time/word count, at least.

I’ve got a year’s production data from WindShare/Toronto Hydro‘s turbine in front of me. It’s on a marginal site, one that probably wouldn’t be developed by a commercial entity. So, does it run for more than 25% of the time?

Yes; the turbine is generating 63% of the time. I’ve defined generating as providing a net export of power to the grid. Our turbine’s a bit more cranky than most, and I have a suspicion that our metering system is dropping some production, but even so, 63% is way more than the claimed 25%. So it gives me great pleasure to say:

MYTH: Wind turbines only run for 25% of the time.
BUSTED! Wind turbines run at the very least 60% of the time, usually more.

(I can’t guarantee that Country Guardian won’t quote me out of context. I could make a cheap shot about not blaming them for their paymasters in the nuclear industry requiring value for money, but I won’t …)

wind turbines from space

Update April 2007: I’ve created a Google My Maps page for these locations: Wind Turbines from Space.

Messing about with Google Maps, I went looking for wind turbines. And yup, you can see ’em:

Update, 3rd May: following my posting to awea-windnet, I got three more:

Thanks to David Wright for the California location, and Joe Duddy of RES (my old employer!) for the two from England. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the latter two windfarms.

Update, 6 May: Found a couple more windfarms from space on googleglobetrotting.com:

Update, 20 June: Google now has worldwide coverage.

Update, 29 June:

  • McBride Lake, Alberta — image taken while in construction. You can see the tower sections and the blades laid out. You can even make out the crane installing one of the northern turbines. This is a Vision Quest Windelectric project.