ABB_id2059
in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Boston-based First Wind has announced that the Kahuku Wind project in Oahu is again operating at full capacity. Following an energy-storage facility fire that suspended the wind farm's operations since August 2012, First Wind says it worked with Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) and other experts to bring the Kahuku project back online.

"We sincerely appreciate the support and patience of the Kahuku community during this period and are happy to announce that the project is back online at full capacity,” says Ryan Pierce, operations manager for First Wind’s Hawaii projects.

According to First Wind spokesperson John Lamontagne, three total fires occurred at the project’s energy-storage facility since April 2011. Texas-based Xtreme Power supplied the battery-based system.

“Unfortunately, because of the extensive damage to the entire facility, a cause of the fire has not ultimately been determined,” Lamontagne says.

Because the wind farm feeds into the Oahu electrical grid, he says HECO had recommended a battery at the project. “The battery was needed to smooth out voltage fluctuations that occur due to the varying nature of wind power,” Lamontagne explains. “As such, after the battery fire, it was necessary to install some sort of voltage-regulation equipment.”

Ultimately, an updated interconnection requirements study was conducted and determined that a Dynamic Volt-Amp Reactive (DVAR) system from American Superconductor could replace the need for a battery system at the site.

“We’re thrilled to utilize this new technology to safely generate clean, renewable energy for the island of Oahu,” adds Pierce.

First Wind says the Kahuku Wind project’s 12 wind turbines have been fully maintained since the shutdown in 2012, and testing of turbines and new DVAR technology began in September 2013. The project returned to service, but in a limited capacity of 5 MW. In late January, HECO gave the go-ahead for the project to return to full service.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015

Trachte_id2056
Latest Top Stories

The Song Remains The Same: AWEA Says Stable Policy Can Protect U.S. Wind Investment

Although the U.S. wind industry added more than four times the amount of wind in 2014 compared with 2013, predictable policy is needed to sustain its long-term success.


High Net-Worth Investors Claim 'All Of The Above' On Energy, Renewable And Otherwise

According to a recent Morgan Stanley poll, high-dollar investors favor investment in renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar.


U.S. Wind Power Installations Surpassed 4.7 GW Last Year, Although China Still Leads

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that U.S. wind installations came back in a big way from a disappointing 2013.


IRS Specifies Performance, Quality Standards For Small Wind Turbines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidelines creating safety and performance standards for small wind turbines to be eligible for the 30% investment tax credit.


Hot Times North Of The Border: Canada Tops Previous Record For Installed Wind Capacity

For the second consecutive year, Canada's wind market has bested the country's previous mark for new installations.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015