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News

ABB turns wind into power in Quebec

ABB Automation Technologies : 26 June, 2006  (New Product)
Having completed work on a Quebec wind farm, ABB says it plans to be a major player in ongoing plans to turn Canada's wind resources into useable electric power.
The 54-megawatt Mont Miller wind farm feeds electricity to more than 15,000 homes in the Gaspésie region of Quebec while, 'contributing to clean and renewable energy and the diversification of power generation facilities,' said Quebec Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Pierre Corbeil.

ABB is the world's leading supplier of electrical products and solutions to the wind power industry, including tower-to-grid power connections that meet the requirements and regulations of utilities like Hydro Quebec. At Mont Miller, production is forecast at more than 195,000 MW/hours per year.

ABB supplies all electrical components and infrastructure for converting the wind tower blades' rotational energy into electricity - generators and motors, low and medium voltage drives, medium voltage switchgear, transformers, low voltage products, control and protection units, electrical substations and converters that correct the voltage of wind-created electricity, so that it can join the main power distribution grid.

For the Mont Miller project, ABB designed, engineered and built all facilities needed to interconnect 30 Vestas wind turbines, including a substation, underground cables and a 22-kilometer access road.

ABB designed, engineered and built all facilities needed to interconnect 30 Vestas wind turbines, including a substation, underground cables and a 22-kilometer access road. 'We were very pleased with the ABB contribution to the Mont Miller project,' said Duncan Low of Northland Power's Co-generation Associates, who developed the project with 3CI.

'ABB managed the construction of the substation and the installation of the 34.5kV underground cables in extremely challenging conditions during the winter and to date we have not experienced any problems with the equipment,' added Low: 'We hope to be able to work with ABB on other wind projects in the future.'

ABB constructed the Mont Miller substation and laid 34.5kV underground cables in challenging winter conditions.

The Vestas wind towers are 80 meters tall at the hub, with three blades each 40 meters long. Nominal rotation speed is 18 revolutions per minute, and each tower can produce 1.8 MW.

The future of Canadian wind power
ABB is already carving that future role; Canadian wind-energy development is poised for growth fueled by government tax credits, a favorable regulatory climate and wind resources that are among the best in the world. The Gaspésie region, for example, has recorded average daily wind speeds of over 9.5 meters per second in recent winter peak seasons.

'This was our first wind project in Canada,' said Jean Guay, ABB's vice president of sales and marketing for power products and systems, 'but it won't be our last. We look forward to helping develop more of the country's wind resources.'

A 14-fold increase in Canada's wind power is projected by 2013, to a capacity of 8,000 MW from 570 MW. Studies suggest the country could meet 20 percent of its electricity needs by readily-developable wind resources A 14-fold increase in Canada's wind power is projected by 2013, to a capacity of 8,000 MW from 570 MW. Studies suggest the country could meet 20 percent of its electricity needs by readily-developable wind resources, but it produces only 0.3 percent of electricity by wind today. A proposed increase to 8,000 MW would bump that percentage to about 4.0 percent.

By contrast, wind energy accounts for 18 percent of total electricity production in Denmark, and around six percent in Spain and Germany. In terms of installed wind power, Germany leads with about 17,000 megawatts of onshore wind capacity, out of a global installed capacity of about 50,000 megawatts. Spain is second, and the U.S. is third.

The owner of the Gaspésie wind farm is 'Energie Eolienne du Mont Miller s.e.c.' with maintenance of the wind turbines presently performed under contract with Vestas.

Wind energy projects installed in Canada included the Pubnico Point Windfarm in Nova Scotia, the Mont Copper and Mont Miller Windfarms in Quebec, the St. Leon Windfarm in Manitoba and the Centennial Windfarm in Saskatchewan. This year will see wind energy projects underway in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
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