- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Added equipment needed at Lowell Wind; Jay substation could expand

Green Mountain Power has petitioned the Public Service Board to build a new structure along Route 105. The building will house a piece of machinery that regulates power between Kingdom Wind and the electrical grid.

The Public Service Board held a hearing on the plan Wednesday night in Jay.

The 21 turbines on the Lowell range are producing megawatts of power, but not all of it is being accepted onto the New England electricity grid.

At least once, ISO-New England, which regulates the grid, has told Green Mountain Power to produce less electricity at the Lowell wind site, Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said. That essentially means the grid cannot handle the amount of power the site is generating.

To alleviate the problem, the power company wants to install a piece of machinery called a synchronous condenser, which costs $10 million.

It takes in power, regulates it and feeds it out on the grid to Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Co-op customers.

Nothing will change at the Lowell wind site, Schnure said. But, the utility is seeking approval to build a 40-by-68 foot building at its Jay substation. It will be built in a barn style, peaking at about 45 feet, a Green Mountain Power representative said.

Other equipment to cool and run the condenser will also be installed.

“The most important thing is we know it’s generating electricity,” Schnure said. “It’s adding more renewable power to the New England grid and that’s important.”

“We wanted to make sure we did due diligence to make sure it was needed,” VEC COO Jeffery Wright said. “At the end of the day, physics are physics and we need it and it was included in the original estimate of the project. There are funds in the contingency to cover the cost.”

The Public Service Board is accepting petitions until Feb. 27.