Ontario wind project chooses voltage control system

27 April 2005 – American Superconductor Corporation announced Tuesday an order for one of its D-VAR(R) voltage regulation systems to provide centralized control of the voltage for a zero-emission wind farm in Canada.

The new Kingsbridge Wind Power project is located near Goderich, Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Huron. The 39.6 MW facility will contribute approximately 104 000 MWh of renewable power annually. The wind-farm, consisting of 22 wind turbine generators and a D-VAR voltage regulation solution, will serve as a source of clean electricity for the province.

Overall, this is the ninth wind farm in the U.S. and Canada and tenth worldwide to rely on AMSC’s voltage control technologies to connect wind- generated power safely and reliably to transmission grids. In aggregate, upon installation of this and similar systems at other wind farms, some 677 MW of electric power will be managed by AMSC’s D-VAR.

AMSC chief executive Greg Yurek noted that the Kingsbridge order, as well as recent purchases of D-VAR systems by other wind farm developers, should be viewed in light of events at the international level.

“The timing is significant because these sales are taking place just after the Kyoto anti-global warming protocol went into effect,” he said. “More than 140 countries have committed to reducing their emissions of six major greenhouse gases by 2012 driving the need to find new ways of capitalizing on low- and zero-emission energy alternatives and to develop and adopt higher efficiency electrical equipment.”

“On a global basis, wind energy has emerged in recent years as the energy source with the fastest rate of growth overall. And because of the inherent capabilities of D-VAR systems to manage voltage fluctuations on a highly reliable basis, they have become the preferred solution for integrating wind energy into the transmission grid,” Yurek added.

The Kingsbridge wind farm project was selected through Ontario’s Renewable Energy Supply process, a competitive program that provides economic and policy support for development of additional renewable energy sources within the province.

The order for AMSC’s voltage regulation system was placed by AMEC/Black & McDonald JV group under its contract to the owner and developer of the Kingsbridge project, EPCOR. AMSC expects to ship the system to Ontario this July.

D-VAR systems provide dynamic and steady state voltage support for an entire wind farm by monitoring the voltage at the wind farm and modifying its reactive power output to meet the interconnection requirements of local transmission grid operators. The D-VAR solution also helps maintain transmission stability after electrical disturbances or faults that typically occur on the grid.