Wind Diversity Study Released

Posted on 20/12/2010
Sea Breeze Power Corp. and the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland Oregon in the US have released a “wind diversity study” they hope will foster greater collaboration between US and Canadian firms engaged in renewable energy projects.

The study compares wind energy regimes in the Columbia River Gorge, a canyon in the Pacific Northwest of the US – an area managed by BPA -- to those at a site on the northern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia (Canada).

The findings suggest the two areas have complementary average annual and diurnal wind patterns. Further, the winter peaking monthly pattern of the Vancouver Island site during the 2007 assessment period indicated 47 percent to 66 percent capacity factors during BPA’s top 500 load hours in 2007.

The findings also address issues of the intermittency of wind power, and provide an unforeseen benefit for Sea Breeze's Juan de Fuca Cable project, which would potentially transmit power from Vancouver Island to the US Pacific Northwest and California, and vice versa.

“Given the increasing size and frequency of wind ramps in the Lower Columbia region, this study provides some very useful insights about the potential benefits of expanding the geographical diversity of wind development in the Pacific Northwest,” said Elliot Mainzer, BPA’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Strategy.

Likewise, Paul B. Manson, CEO of Sea Breeze Power Corp., said the study “highlights that variable wind energy from any single region combined with neighbouring wind energy resources having different generation patterns, can together result in a renewable electricity supply with far higher reliability and availability than if simply utilized as individual and local sources of energy.”