Marshall and Stark County Wind Farm Visit

Hi This was more educational for me, that other people, but I like it G

Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

Marshall/Stark County Wind Farm Visit April23,2009

Camp Grove Wind Farm in Marshall/Stark County Visit March 23, 2009.

The wind farm consists of 100 wind turbines owned by Orion Energy Group, and are operated and maintained by enXco Service Corporation. The wind farm is located in Eastern Stark County and Western Marshall County, and has the capacity to produce up to 150 megawatts per hour. The electricity generated by these GE Turbines goes through a sub station and is sent out to purchasers of the power.

The maintenance of the farm is performed by enXco Service Corporation team consisting of a manager, supervisor and eight full time maintenance technicians. enXco Service Corporation has been in existence for over 20 years.

The erection of the turbines in this particular location took a 2-3 year period study of wind velocity and presence. Three meteorological towers were located in the area and provided information about the towers. Two other wind energy companies who produce wind generated power also are located in the area.

At the top of the 266 foot tower, there are three 125 foot blades and a nacelle, essentially a container, that is 20x16x10 which holds a gear box, a generator, and numerous instruments necessary to the operation of the wind turbine.

There is an anemometer and wind vane that measures wind speed and direction on each turbine. This positions each turbine into the wind and controls the speed of the blades. The wind speed that the turbines operate from are from approximately 4 mph to 45mph.

Operational information from each turbine is recorded at the station by multiple computers . If a problem develops it is handled by one of three ways: from the station, from the central remote monitoring location in Minnesota, or by a technician climbing the 266 foot on a straight up climb, to manually correct the problems. Each turbine is inspected at least twice a year and all bolts are checked to keep the tower secure.

The introductory portions of this column are the results of a visit to the wind farm because I had several questions about the operation and I thought it would be a good idea to report what I learned. The three year study told me that there was no guess work about the winds that blow across the berm. The reason for a turbine being stopped while all others were moving was repairs. It was informative that each turbine is individually reported on multiple computers. Problems are solved from a computer or by a climb up that 266 foot tower, that sounded like a computer geek getting into my computer and fixing a problem. Isn’t technology wonderful?

Maybe you didn’t want to know all this about the wind field, I found it inspiring.

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Created by KKris. Last Modification: Monday 04 of May, 2009 11:02:44 EDT by KKris.