The bigger they are, the harder they fail

The Japan Times reports an embarrassing failure of ‘big wind’.

Hilariously, the filename for this picture on their website is “n-fukuturb-a-20181028.jpg”  Quote.

A floating wind turbine built off Fukushima Prefecture to symbolize recovery efforts after the 2011 nuclear disaster will be removed, a government source has said. End quote.

It is all about the symbolism! Quote.

The offshore power facility was put in place as the Fukushima Prefectural Government introduced renewable energy after the triple-reactor meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in the days following the massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Experimental studies were conducted with a view toward commercialization but the turbine, one of the world’s largest with a rotor diameter of 167 meters, was deemed unprofitable due to multiple malfunctions decreasing the utilization rate.

“At present, we are considering a method of removal because the maintenance cost is too high,” the government source said Friday.

The turbine is one of three on a floating wind farm 20 km off the coast of Naraha.

The price tag to remove the ¥15.2 billion [NZD 202 million] turbine, which has an output capacity of 7,000 kilowatts, is expected to be around 10 percent of the building cost.

Studies on the two other turbines are due to conclude in fiscal 2018, but the study period is expected to be extended to seek any possibility of commercialization.

The turbine started operating in December 2015 but was riddled with problems.

Its utilization rate over the year through June 2018 was 3.7 percent, well below the 30 percent necessary for commercialization.[…]  End quote.

That has got to rate highly in the “understatement of the year” stakes.  It fell short of commercial viability by a mere 88%.  Yup, “well short”.

According to MBIE figures, NZ has 5.426 GW installed hydro capacity, which is used to for base load as well as to sort out fluctuations in demand.  So it does not run 24×7 and also is dependent on lake levels etc.  Even so, it delivered 24,934 GWh last year which is a capacity factor of 52%.

52% versus 3.7%?  Tough choice.  No wonder the Japanese are spending NZD 20 million to remove this monstrosity.

This begs the question for Minister Woods.  “What capacity factor is projected from the 4.5 wind farms per year that you say are coming?”

Since the Minister cannot even answer the simple question about the rated output of the coming 4.5 wind farms per year, I imagine that capacity factor would be a step too far.


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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