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.


Advertisement

Trachte_id2056
Latest Top Stories

More Investors Entering Tax Equity Market; Returns Holding Steady

The entry of new tax equity investors to the wind space last year re-ignited an old debate.


Report: Top 10 Turbine OEMs Had Record Year In 2014

Preliminary findings suggest Vestas reigned supreme again among the world's leading wind turbine makers. How did some of the other OEMs fare?


AWEA's Gramlich To FERC: Additional Transmission Needed Regardless Of Clean Power Plan

To further build a more balanced and reliable electricity portfolio, the U.S. needs to build more transmission capacity.


Getting A Grip On Grinding Gearboxes: Why Such Events Need Not Be Showstoppers

Despite advances in gearbox reliability - namely, from condition monitoring systems and greater design standardization - challenges remain.


How Wind Energy Can Meet EPA Clean Power Plan Requirements

According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind power is a cost-effective solution for complying with the environmental effort.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015