No impact on Wind Farm

From snow and ice
Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:15am

The blizzard that walloped Block Island this past weekend, dumping about 15-inches of snow, creating snowdrifts and icy conditions, did not impact the operation of the Block Island Wind Farm. 

That’s according to Deepwater Wind spokesperson Meaghan Wims, who told The Block Island Times that “snow and icy weather has no impact on the wind turbines, and no additional measures are needed to prevent snow or ice buildup.”

Deepwater Wind is the developer of the 30-megawatt wind farm situated in 90-feet of ocean water three miles off the southeast coast of Block Island. The developer has stated that its pilot project is constructed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including a 1,000-year storm.

“The wind turbines have monitoring systems to detect any icing on the blades,” said Wims, who noted that “the coating on the blades helps to prevent the formation of ice, so no physical removal is necessary.”

“In the event that extreme winter weather causes ice build-up, the blades are designed to temporarily stop operations until the icing ends,” added Wims. The blades are also programmed to stop, and go into a protective posture, when wind speeds exceed 65 miles-per-hour.

Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been charged with monitoring the Block Island Wind Farm and its systems around the clock. “We monitor the site’s production every day and saw no anomalies during the storm,” Duke Energy spokesperson Tammie McGee told The Times. “In the event of any issue, we would contact the owner and the grid operator.”

“The Renewable Control Center provides 24/7 monitoring and control services, data acquisition, weather and production forecasts, generation status, and performance analysis and reporting for the offshore Block Island Wind Farm,” explained McGee. “The RCC also performs energy market and dispatch services, serving as point of contact with the Independent System Operators of New England, the regional transmission organization.”

Turbine number two was motionless, as it is currently in the process of undergoing repairs from minor generator damage that occurred during manufacturing.

The Block Island Wind Farm is expected to power Block Island by April 1.