Monday, January 08, 2007


Wind energy power potential everywhere in Newfoundland Labrador

I was doing a little perusing the internet and came across this site which has charted out the potential for developing wind into electricity.

I must say I was surprised to see that the West coast of the Northern peninsula actually has the best potential for wind energy development. Not really actually if you have ever been up there. Those Tuckamore trees say it all.

It is a little deceiving when you look at the segmented maps because it cuts right across the northern peninsula and almost gets lost due to this.

I'm actually a little confused why there is such a rush to develop Labrador and the height of lands project ( curious name considering the 1927 decision by the privy council delineating the Labrador border specifically references height of land). While the potential from these maps is obvious there would seem to be even more potential on the Northern peninsula. Even more so than the south shore from an onshore perspective probably due to the cliffs causing the wind to sheer upwards upon reaching the shoreline.

I guess as usual it comes down to the low hanging fruit, and wanting to develop the resource which is closest to the market and existing infrastructure.

I can see being close to existing power lines but if there are power lines of any type anywhere near the potential wind energy it is only a matter of utilizing the cascading properties of electricity normally called wheeling power.

In essence to my knowledge wheeling power doesn't actually mean the power we generate in NL gets used in the US or Ontario. In effect the power we generate in NL that goes to Quebec gets used in Quebec and the power than Quebec generates and would normally use gets sold to the US and Ontario. So it isn't really wheeling power so much so as cascading power. Maybe there is a better term but for now I'm going to call it cascading because that is how electrons move.

There is a thing called power loss or something like that which refers to the amount of power which is lost due to conversion stepping up and stepping down along with loss through heat in transportation.

Anyway I am really starting to see the amazing potential NL has as an energy warehouse. What with the Upper churchill already putting out some 5000 MW's and the Lower potential of another 2000+MW's along with the as of yet unharnessed wind potential in both Labrador and Newfoundland which is a perfect match for Hydro supplementation with it's quick start up and shut down capability. Keeping in mind that frequent start up and shut down of hydro generation needs to have the harmfull effects it has on the fish habitate needs to be mitigated with a fish ladder. As does the increase in minerals due to flooding with lime dosers, clear cutting and burning the area prior.

Then there is the potential for Tidal generation in and around NL. One of the most promising being the Straite Jacket of Belle Isle with a 5 knot continuous current running down through there. Or if you really want to get creative put a channel across the narrowest part of the Avalon peninsula to take advantage of the difference in tide heights on either side. Then there is the potential of bringing the abundance of natural gas of our coast ashore and either converting it into electricity, Gas to Liquid, or shipping it out through a pipeline across a fixed link.

I think we would get alot further with our campaign to get a fixed link with canada via a proposal to have a fixed link built in conjunction with an outfeed as opposed to an infeed. Lord knows we have more than enough energy potential in NL and don't need to have an infeed at least not yet. If and when we do need an infeed the infrastructure will be there all we will need to do is reverse the flow or add another line.

I actually came across these wind maps while looking into the labrador coastal Equipment LTD site.
Power Point presentation on past present and future developments.
I see they have done some work on Wind generation and diesel generation for the remote communities. Now this is where the test sites should have been established to garner experience IMO.

Another location of note would be the Buchans plains. Easy access nowwa days what with all of the new woods roads and it could very easily be tied into the existing Hinds Lake power lines.

Very encouraging indeed these maps of wind potential in our province especially when you look at the rest of the country and how low their potential is as opposed to ours.

Well worth your while to visit both of these links lots of other more indepth info.

UPDATE: I came across this map of the generating locations in the province. I was amazed to see there are some 33 diesel generating sites in this province. Talk about your third world infrastructure.

But all is not lost these diesel generators could very easily be the key to developing alot more wind elect generation than a normal connected system would permit normally.

This type of Wind/diesel co generation for our 33 isolated diesel generation sites has already been trialed at Ramea and it's time to expand the Wind/Diesel co generation initiative.

Another option for some of these isolated diesel generating sites could be micro hydro.
Ramea Wind Diesel Project

The Wind Energy Institute (WEICan) has been an active participant in the Ramea Wind-Diesel Project. Ramea, an island of the coast of Newfoundland, is the location of this collaborative project between WEICan, Natural Resources Canada and Frontier Power Systems, a wind energy systems integrator. This is Canada’s first medium penetration wind-diesel system.

The project has 6 - 65 kW wind turbines for a total generating capacity of 390 kW which is connected to a utility grid with a daily peak load that varies from 300 kW to 1200 kW. This project is the culmination of three years of development work, at WEICan, in the development of an integrated control system that enables wind turbines to be fully integrated with diesel generating systems. The Ramea project uses the ‘Wind-Diesel Integrated Control System’ or ‘WDICS’, which has been developed at WEICan, in this medium penetration wind-diesel application. WDICS ensures that the wind power supplied to the utility is less than the specified minimum load for the diesel generators.

The Ramea project has been in operation since 2004 and development work is continuing to refine the technology for commercial deployment.

Great little animation of how a wind turbine works here.
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