Developer First Wind has brought its 30MW Kahuku wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore back to full capacity, the first time since August 2012 when a battery fire shut down operations.
An updated interconnection requirements
study was conducted and determined that a new technology could replace the need
for a battery system at the site.
The new Dynamic Volt-Amp
Reactive (DVAR) system is a cost-effective way to provide continuous voltage
regulation. The recently installed technology also improves voltage stability
on utility Hawaiian Electric Company’s (HECO) grid, as well as meets
interconnection requirements, according to First Wind.
The Kahuku Wind project’s 12
wind turbines have been fully maintained since the shutdown in 2012 and testing
of turbines and new DVAR technology began last September. The project returned
to service, but in a limited capacity of 5 MW. Late last month, HECO gave the
go ahead for the project to return to full service.
At full capacity, the wind
project produces enough power for up to 7,700 homes on O‘ahu.
Xtreme Power, which
supplied the battery storage system, in January filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection. The company is based near Austin, Texas.