Trishe Wind Ohio LLC told the Ohio Power Siting Board in a Nov. 24 letter that it plans, due to the evolution of wind turbine technology, to install fewer, larger turbines at its Ohio project with the same 100-MW total project limit established by the board.
In December 2013, the board approved a certificate for Northwest Ohio Wind Energy LLC, now known as Trishe Wind Ohio LLC, covering 59 wind turbines (depending on the nameplate capacity of the turbine selection—the range was 1.7 MW to 2.0 MW). The applicant selected one of the approved turbines models, the Gamesa G114 with a nameplate capacity of 2 MW each.
In the intervening time between the issuance of the order and this date, Gamesa has made software improvements and minor hardware changes in the nacelle to its model G114 that allows the model to have a nameplate rating of 2.1 MW. These improvements amount to a 5% increase in output. The updated model has the same tower, the same hub, the same blades, and the same gearbox as the model approved by the board. Besides the software improvements, there are some minor mechanical changes within the nacelle of the newer model. These include modification of a few internal generator components, some upgrades to allow for better cooling of the generator and electronics, and some upgrades to the converter and fuse box.
A detailed diagram and explanation of these changes are included in Gamesa’s documentation attached to the Nov. 24 letter.
The blades, towers, and gearboxes are identical, so blade speed, shadow flicker and ice throw measures will not be affected. An e-mail confirmation of this fact from a Gamesa representative was also attached to the Nov. 24 filing. In order to confirm that the noise from the newer model will be the similar to the noise emitted from the original Gamesa Model 114, the company engaged Resource Systems Group Inc., the sound consultant who conducted the original noise studies that were included in the application, to investigate the noise from the improved model. The results of that study are included as Attachment C.
RSG concluded that the updated model results show that this project can meet the permitted sound level limit of 47 dBA under conservative conditions by utilizing some level of Noise Reduced Operations (NRO) for select turbines and in one case stoppage of a turbine (T-19) when necessary.
Using the newer version 2.1 MW Gamesa Model G114, the company said it at all times would adhere to the maximum facility interconnection of 100 MW as authorized by the board, because it is not changing the size of its main power transformer and would, in any event, be restricted by PJM Interconnection from doing so under its Interconnection Agreement.
Though the board-issued certificate authorized as many as 60 turbines, the company will use only 50 turbines and they will be placed only on sites approved for turbines under the 2013 order.
The Ohio board in a March 9 letter cleared Trishe Wind Ohio to start preconstruction work on its 100-MW project in Paulding County. In November 2014, the board approved a transfer of the certificate from Northwest to Trishe Wind. Trishe Wind acquired the Northwest assets and permits under an asset purchase transaction authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota.
Trishe Wind said in a separate Nov. 24 letter to the board that it held a preconstruction conference on Nov. 23 with the board staff. “At the conference, construction-related issues were satisfactorily addressed including all conditions of the Certificate,” said the company. “All preconstruction commitments/ conditions have been submitted to Staff as previously docketed. In compliance with Certificate Condition 10, and as directed by Staff, substation construction activities will commence November 30, 2015.”