GE (NYSE: GE) will install its WindCONTROL advanced software to help maximize energy output at two First Wind projects in Maine that feature a total of 95 GE wind turbines. The GE technology will regulate curtailment by monitoring and controlling the wind turbines’ ramp rates, effectively easing power spikes and putting less strain on the turbine compared to constant starts and stops.
First Wind is a Boston-based independent wind energy company that owns and operates turbines throughout the United States.
“The effect of curtailment on wind turbines has been an area of concern for us. The application of GE’s WindCONTROL technology to our wind turbines in Maine will help the units maximize energy capture while mitigating the strain on our units as we regulate power production,” said First Wind’s Vice President of Operations EJ Martin.
Using GE’s WindCONTROL, turbine owners can earn back power that may have been lost due to inefficient controls for meeting curtailment. The software automatically controls the output of each wind turbine in the wind farm, versus an approach that depends on starting and stopping units to meet a power demand. The more precise regulation of power not only meets requirements despite wind variation but also allows the wind turbines to run more efficiently and reliably without compromising grid stability. By avoiding the continual stop and start of the turbines for power regulation, GE’s WindCONTROL eases the stresses on the wind turbines and helps to extend the life of turbine components.
The two Maine-based wind farms that will be upgraded with GE’s WindCONTROL technology are located in Rollins and Stetson. The Rollins site has 40 GE 1.5-77 turbines while Stetson contains 55 1.5-77 turbines.
GE previously announced that First Wind selected GE as its service provider for First Wind’s entire fleet of 264 GE wind turbines at eight sites across the United States. The eight-year comprehensive service agreement expanded upon existing contracts with First Wind and was the first contract to cover an entire fleet of wind turbines signed by GE at that time.
“GE’s comprehensive offering of wind service solutions is a testament to our commitment to help our renewable energy customers increase power production and revenues from their installed equipment. We have a long-standing history with First Wind, and the addition of WindCONTROL software to its existing service agreement will further benefit the fleet,” said Andy Holt, general manager of wind services for GE’s renewable energy business.
WindCONTROL is one of many software and controls upgrades provided by GE’s wind services business, and it is part of GE’s broader Industrial Internet solution suite. The Industrial Internet represents an open, global ecosystem of highly intelligent machines that connect, communicate and cooperate with each other and people, leading to breakthrough levels of efficiency and productivity. In addition to WindCONTROL, GE wind services provide value to customers through advanced software products such as WindBoost, Turbine Performance Optimization, Winter Ice Operation Mode and PulsePOINT.