Swarm technology by WindESCo with a combined capacity of 306 MW has been successfully installed across Milford I and II wind plants of Longroad Energy in Utah, United States. This marks the 1st full scale implementation of commercial wake steering and collective control in the wind industry. For this WindESCo and Longroad Energy collaborated to deliver the first major wake steering installations.
According to a study published in Wind Energy Science, â€œSubstantial turbulence and curtailment reduce plant output by 20%.â€ Turbine size and scale in wind energy installments have grown in the last several years has added more to this problem of reduced output by wind energy plants.
Swarm is the first commercial solution in the industry that collectively controls wind turbines and works by combining advanced analytics. It also includes model in the loop control along with industrial internet of things (IIOT) to attain a +3% increase in AEP (Annual Energy Production) through wake steering and other collective control applications developed by WindESCo.
In December 2022, Milford I and II were completely installed on 165 turbines and have a combined capacity of GE 1.5 MW and Clipped 2.5 MW machines. Collaboration between WindESCo and Longroad supported repowering of the plants and this initiative includes upgrades for controller, rotor, and blade for many wind turbines. Both sites referred to here have been operational for over a decade. On a positive note, WindESCo released a case study to spread the word about positive initial results of the project. And wake steering pairs tested for commissioning also exceeded modeling done before installation.
Head of Asset Management at Longroad Energy, Jeremy Law said, â€œIt is no secret that as assets age, they have a natural tendency to experience certain losses in efficiency. But that does not have to be the end of the story. We are committed to looking at innovative solutions that not only mitigate production loss, but actually reverse that direction of travel. We selected Swarm at Milford I and II because we are comfortable that WindESCo will deliver that expected AEP gain.â€
Chief Executive Officer and WindESCo Founder, Mo Dua stated that â€œWhile many research teams have modelled and written about the potential for improving wind plant performance through wake steering, never before has a large-scale commercial test of such technology been completed. We are so proud of the years of work that went into bringing this solution to the market. The commissioning of Swarm at Milford demonstrates that large scale wake steering is possible as a retrofit solution for older assets, while also proving feasibility for Swarm to support the expanding global fleet of wind turbines offshore.â€
Wakes have particular concerns about the increasing number of offshore wind plants planned across the world, and it includes those in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States too. This summer WindESCo is planning to release additional results from their Milford project.
The company is also planning to install Swarm in Indonesia with additional offshore sites in the United Kingdom and Europe. An announcement for the same is expected to be made around later this year. And before this, WindESCo and Longroad Energy collaborated to deliver the first major wake steering installations.