New Zealand's 32 MW Tararua wind farm achieved an impressive net capacity factor of 51.2% for the year ending December 30, 2002 -- a level of conversion efficiency that has to put it at the top of the league table. "We had a really windy year," says Deion Campbell of TrustPower's Northern Generation Group, the owner of the wind plant. At an average 11.7 m/s, wind speeds at the site were higher than any previously recorded. The facility hit a peak capacity factor -- the amount of time the plant generated at its full rated capacity -- of 67.1% in September and, over the three years of its operation has achieved 45.6%. Solid maintenance work and a lack of any major problems contributed to the result. The wind farm currently has 48, 660 kW turbines in place and is expecting to double that with its planned Phase 2 development. According to Campbell, Vestas is more than likely to be the supplier for that, with the extension due online by winter 2004.
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