Several Keyser, WV residents were surprised that during the recent spell of very … very hot days, the 23 massive wind turbines of the Pinnacle wind plant in Mineral County WV sat idle for much of the time. One would think the blades would be constantly spinning during this period of obvious high demand for electricity. But then, that’s the problem with very hot days … there’s little wind.
In a recent article, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell noted that, on the 11 hottest days in Washington last year, Dominion – which supplies electricity to the Virginia suburbs – was able to average just 1 MW from its nearby 182 MW wind farm.
As Rick Webb of VA Wind noted, “during the peak demand period (usually the hottest days of summer), when generation capacity needs are established (and when PJM determines “capacity credit”), this large Dominion project had a capacity factor of 0.5%.”
And what do we sacrifice for industrial wind’s incredibly poor performance?