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How intermittent is power production at TVA's Wind Power Plant?

How much power does the plant consume (especially when not producing)?

TVA can't or won't say

January 5, 2003

The following information was requested under the Freedom of Information Act, on April 7, 2002.

Data for consumed KW and net generation KW, versus time, from beginning of operation to current date.

The following response was released by TVA on December 2, 2002.  In essence, it was an admission that they do not keep thorough records, and a refusal to provide the requested information, which is available, under the pretense that they already provided the information.

"With regard to the consumed KW, we do not track station consumption, therefore, we have no records responsive to this part of your request. With regard to the net generation data, on May 16 I sent you copies of the Green Power Switch newsletters which contain the net generation data."

Other utilities, such as Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, track and conveniently publicize very thorough details for both consumed KW and net generation KW for similar wind power plants.  Why doesn't TVA?

It is interesting to see that consumed power can be as much as about 1-2% of rated power, or about 4-8% of expected average power based on 25% capacity factor. In a quick look at Wisconsin PSC's data, I observed up to about 12 KW for one turbine on December 8, 2002. Therefore, when the wind plant is not producing power due to low wind or other problems, it may actually be increasing demand for conventional power plants and their associated emissions, at a rate of up to about 8% of expected average wind plant power. This is not a huge amount, but it is also not an insignificant amount of additional air emissions due to the wind power plant.

TVA already provides detailed production data for their solar power stations (although perhaps with buggy javascript, and best viewed with iE). Why does TVA not provide similar detailed data for the wind power plant?

Only the people at TVA really know why they are not more transparent, but they seem to consistently hide and obscure the facts, and mislead the public, regarding details of their wind power production. I've previously examined and discussed TVA's methods and the very limited wind plant data from the five Green Power Switch News issues they sent me.

It is obvious that TVA only pretended to to respond to the request for additional information.



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Disclaimer Fine Print: This site is personal, and is independent of TVA or any other organization. Use of the abbreviation "TVA" is purely for descriptive purposes (for example, to distinguish from wind power plants on Buffalo Ridge in Minnesota). No endorsement, no approval, and no involvement by TVA is implied.

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