FollowBlog: Chris Harlow on IT
first published week of: 08/17/2015
Wind production is dropping across the west coast, but it's not for a lack of trying by the industry. Wind speeds have been slowing down in the region, leading to the reduced generation.
Selected wind plants' U.S. capacity factors, January 2010 - May 2015. Click on image to enlarge. Credit: EIA
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), average wind speeds in the region dropped in early 2015, and wind plants in California, Oregon, and Washington saw a decrease in generation due to the drop. In the first five months of 2015, wind plant utilization rates were well below the previous five-year average.
"Capacity factors for wind turbines are largely determined by wind resources," EIA explained. "Because the output from a turbine varies nonlinearly with wind speed, small decreases in wind speeds can result in much larger changes in output and, in turn, capacity factors." continued…