B.I. Wind Farm to be monitored

For proper functionality during operation
Fri, 11/11/2016 - 8:45am

The Block Island Wind Farm and its power-generating components are now entering a phase where they will need to be monitored to ensure they are functioning properly. That monitoring will be done remotely from a computer system based over 600 miles away.

The group tasked with that oversight is Duke Energy Renewables, which, according to its website, is “one of the largest electrical power holding companies in the United States.” According to a press release issued by the Charlotte, North Carolina company, and an agreement reached with Deepwater Wind, Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center will provide around-the-clock “remote monitoring and control services, data acquisition, and performance analysis and reporting” for the wind farm.

Duke Energy will begin monitoring the wind farm prior to it going online. 

“Duke Energy is a proven leader in renewable energy monitoring services and their expertise will provide reliable, real-time monitoring and critical analysis of the Block Island Wind Farm’s operations,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. 

“We will leverage our vast operational experience and our advanced, secure control center to increase the performance and reliability of the Block Island Wind Farm,” said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology.

The press release states that “Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center increases the performance and reliability of 4,500 megawatts of wind, solar and battery operations across the country.” The Control Center “will also perform energy market and dispatch services for the Block Island Wind Farm, serving as point of contact with ISO (Independent System Operators) New England, the regional transmission organization.”

"In essence, Duke Energy Renewables is acting as the designated entity on behalf of the Block Island Wind Farm," Duke Energy spokesperson Tammie McGee told The Block Island Times. "The designated entity provides the required 24/7 coverage and ensures the site responds to emergency signals from the regional transmission organization. If need be, the RCC can take control of the site to respond properly." 

McGee noted that Duke Energy Renewables has been monitoring and optimizing its owned wind assets since 2008 and solar assets since 2010. "The RCC has been performing third party monitoring since 2010, prior to the Outland Energy acquisition," she said. "The Block Island Wind Farm is one of many customers monitored by Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center."

"The center is registered as a generator-operator with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and is implementing additional cyber security controls this year to meet NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) requirements," noted McGee. "This certification raises the security standards for both physical and cyber assets and will be completed by year-end."

The Block Island Wind Farm’s 30-megawatt, five-wind turbine array was constructed in August, and situated in 90 feet of water three miles off the southeast coast of Block Island.