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Windmill-generated power lowest since 2005  

Credit:  Walla Walla Union-Bulletin | January 8, 2016 | union-bulletin.com ~~

This is a summary for the year 2015 of the windmill-generated power in the Dayton/Pomeroy area, including the wind farms Hopkins Ridge, Marengo, Lower Snake and Tucannon.

There were four extended periods, each lasting a week or more, during which there was no wind at all, and the National Weather Service was issuing daily “air stagnation” alerts. These four periods were in mid-January, early March, late November, and late December (extending to the present).

There was one really long period, extending from early April through late October, when there were breezes strong enough to stir the air and turn the windmill blades, but never strong enough to generate any electricity.

There were 11 days when the wind blew hard enough, long enough, to generate substantial amounts of energy. Of these 11 days, three were windy enough that the windmills could have sustained generation at over 40 percent of their capacity, and one day (Nov. 17) was a powerful and dangerous storm, during which the windmills could have sustained generation at 77 percent of their capacity, if only the distribution lines had not sustained severe damage.

Averaged over the entire year, the windmills could have generated 1.5 percent of their capacity, barring down time for repairs and maintenance.

This is the lowest yearly average since windmill construction began in this area in 2005. Typical years are 3 percent to 4 percent.

In no year, has the production been sufficient to offset the energy used by the windmills for lights and climate control.

Jim Thorn

Dayton

Source:  Walla Walla Union-Bulletin | January 8, 2016 | union-bulletin.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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