United States

United States

In line for repowering in California

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At least four substantial repowering projects have been undertaken or are planned in California (Windpower Monthly, December 1998). The Cameron Ridge wind farm at Tehachapi, originally owned by FloWind, is being repowered in two steps. WindCo-an international consortium between FPL Energy, Denmark's NEG Micon, Nichimen Corp of Japan and UK wind plant developer Renewable Energy Systems-is repowering a section using 56 MW of NEG Micon NM 700/44 machines. At a second site known as Pacific Crest, FPL Energy is repowering with 45 MW of Vestas turbines.

Meantime in the same region, SeaWest of San Diego is repowering the West Winds site near Palm Springs, with 45 MW of NEG Micon units and may repower up to 40 MW of other capacity in the area, while Enron Wind is repowering its Cabazon site with 53 Z-750 turbines.

In the Altamont Pass about 140 MW of wind development is slated for repowering-including a major project by WindCo. But action has been delayed by legal wrangling, as owners of existing downwind turbines claim they will lose production due to the wake effects of the new, larger machines. WindCo is hoping to replace more than 750 wind turbines with about 100 new 750 kW NEG Micon turbines.

Another Altamont operator waiting to repower is Green Ridge Power. Green Ridge, a partnership of FPL Energy and M&N Windpower, now owns 164 MW of properties in Altamont Pass which at one time belonged to Kenetech Windpower, now bankrupt. To repower the site, they plan to remove 640 Kenetech 56-100 turbines (also called the KCS-56). Some of these uprooted units will be used as a source of spare parts for the remaining machines, but plans are yet to be made for the rest. In 1996, Kenetech had proposed replacing 3410 of its 56-100 turbines in the pass with 1705 of its newer 33-KVS machines, but these plans were abandoned as the company fell on hard times.

Altamont Pass has hosted the world's largest concentration of turbines since the early 1980s. In 1991 it boasted almost 7000 units, though this dropped to a little over 5000 by 1998 as old turbines failed.

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