After a month out of production for transformer replacement and installation, Canadian Hydro Developers Melancthon I wind farm was back in operation at mid afternoon Monday.
According to the Website of the Ontario Electrical System Operator (IESO), it began feeding 8 megawatts to the Hydro One grid between 2 and 3 p.m., increased output steadily to 24 megawatts (MW), and continued at 24 through Tuesday morning.
The capacity of the 45 Melancthon I turbines is 67.5 MW. The 24 MW on what seemed a calm day in Dufferin works out to about 35.5 per cent of capacity, and was a better performance at the time than any of the other major wind farms in Ontario.
A variation is expected. Industry sources say the strength of the wind industry lies in the spread of facilities as the wind doesn’t always blow everywhere at the same time.
In Dufferin, the wind farm had to be shut down while the existing transformer at the substation was replaced with one that would be less audible to the human ear, and a second one was installed. Each of the transformers would handle a maximum 100 mW, so the second one will be needed when the 132 mW Melancthon II farm comes online in a few months.
Replacement of the original GE transformer was required under the terms of the Minutes of Settlement between CHD and Amaranth Township. Paul Thompson, who has his residence and workshop not far to the southwest of the substation at Amaranth’s 15 Sideroad and Tenth Line, had been the principal noise critic before and during the Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the Amaranth portion of Melancthon II.
In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Thompson wasn’t certain the new transformers would satisfy his concerns.
Although unaware that the turbines were back in operation, he said he thought he had “heard something” in the past couple of days.
He said the guaranteed maximum upper noise level of the new transformer would translate into a one decibel increase in the sound at his residence. “I don’t really call that a fix,” he said.
(At the OMB, the acoustics experts disagreed with Mr. Thompson.
As well, they said the preferred transformers had been tested at fewer decibels than the guaranteed upper figure.)
3 July 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding