Federated Wind Turbine
June 27, 2003: Submitted USDA Renewable Energy Grant - new program
- Awarded $500,000 USDA grant (Sept `03)
- Was for 1.5 MW GE turbine at a cost of $2.5 million per tower
Wind Incentives in 2003:
- State 1.5¢
- Federal 1.8¢
- Then it dried up in 2004...
- 2004 Federal wind incentives approved, but co-ops couldn';t use tax credits and REPI credits were not part of the bill
- 2005 Federal tax exempt bonding (Clean Renewable Energy Bonds).
- Rebid the project
- No turbines available.
- Told us First Quarter 2007
- Delayed again from Suzlon til October 2007 and then again til January 2008
- Meanwhile, CREBs approved, but delayed by government (first time). Thanks to NRECA lobbying & CFC this sounds a little awkward coordinated CREBs
CREBS (Clean Renewable Energy Bonds)
Before this program existed, only for-profit, investor-owned utilities, through the production tax credits, were eligible to receive a tax incentive for producing electricity through renewable energy sources. CREBs provide a financial incentive for electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. It provides interest-free borrowing for qualified projects. The taxpayer holding the bond received a tax credit on their regular income tax.
5 Years later
- Different turbines (Vestas 1.65 to Suzlon 2.1 megawatt) 2.1 megawatts is equivalent to how much electricity is used by 210 farms in a month for our region . In June 2008 Federated members used 17,000 MWH and the turbine produced 316 MWH in that same month. As it goes along, we';ll update you on this.
- Different costs $2.5 million and now $3.3 million (3.3 million dollars divided by 5,000 members would be like a $660 payment per member in a year to build this or $44 member over 15 years). Federated pays it off over 15 years.
- Different site: A move from from Jackson to Welcome was necessary to avoid expensive and lengthy MISO or transmission line study.
Turbine and blades
- 141- foot long blades manufactured by Suzlon in Pipestone Minnesota. Made of layers of fiberglass and epoxy which surround bulkheads of Styrofoam.
- 2 upper tower sections came from Porter, Minnesota and the 2 lower sections came from Texas.
- The nacelle (including gearbox) was assembled in India.
- Hub height is 79 meters or 259 feet tall.
- Diameter of rotor is 88 meters or 289 feet
- The generator is rated for 2100 kilowatts and 600/346 volts at 60 Hz.
- Aerodynamic brake with independent systems for blade pitching and one mechanical brake system
- Blades start with wind at 9 miles per hour.
- Prime operation is at 31.5 miles/hour
- Cut-out speed is at 58 miles/hour
- Lightning protection consists of copper wire running continuously through each blade, which is grounded into the hub spark gap arrester, which grounds its way down to the collector system.
- 30-feet hole was dug for the foundation in January 2008. It took crews about a week to install metal form (15-feet wide metal tube). Crews installed 160 32-feet long anchor bolts that are covered with white PVC sleeves. Secured with 1 3/8” anchor bolts to a metal embedment ring.
- Poured 150 yards of concrete, which if spread horizontally 12” thick would be as big as a football field.
- 450 ton crane used to assemble the tower sections and blades.
- After assembly and connection of all components, the wind turbine as a complete unit is fully tested to validate that it is fully operational before it is put into service.
- All mechanical and electrical work is completed.
- Grid or station power is of proper voltage levels and has the correct phase sequence.
- All software is uploaded and parameter settings verified as being the newest revision and appropriate for this turbine type.
- All switches and sensors have the correct settings and are calibrated.
- All mechanical and electrical systems including safety redundant systems are verified as being functionally operational.
- Lubricants are checked or filled up for operation.
- Communications systems and SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) are configured and tested.
- The turbine is put into operation producing power for a test period and then inspected.
- Suzlon has the ability to remotely monitor the turbine 24/7 from a monitoring station in its Pipestone location.
- Federated can monitor the turbine';s output through SCADA (substation monitoring equipment)
- Eventually, will have data available on Federated';s website so members can monitor it too.
- Minnesota legislators mandated that by 2025, 25 percent of utility';s electricity must come from renewable resources. In 2008 Federated members used 260,927,336 kWh of electricity. This wind turbine produced 3,442,120 kWh for a partial year in 2008.
- You can sign up for Wellspring Wind Energy derived from 9 wind turbines at Chandler, MN. It costs 59 cents extra per 100 kilowatt-hour block. Some sign up for one, or several. One member signed up for 200!
Is wind power supplied directly to my home?
No. Electricity generated by the wind turbines is fed into the Midwest';s electric system called the power grid. It is like pouring a pitcher of water into a pond. You can';t get that water from the pitcher back out of the pond. The same holds true for recapturing wind-generated electricity from the grid.
Windiest month of the year?
Records at Chandler on the Buffalo Ridge shows it';s in the spring and fall. Not summer which is typically when electricity costs the most.