Several farmers in North Kohala, Hawaii, are now benefitting from an innovative off-grid water-pumping system powered by a Northern Power NPS 100 wind turbine. Like many others in remote locations and island communities, North Kohala farmers have been searching for an alternative to using polluting, expensive diesel fuel to generate electricity. This microgrid project, known as SkyGrid Energy, marks the growing trend of turning to affordable, clean, renewable wind energy as the solution. The NPS 100 wind turbine is specifically designed to support microgrids with its sophisticated voltage controls and no inrush current, thereby relieving stress to the system. In addition, the NPS 100′s ability to control reactive power independently of wind speed more reliably meets energy demands, a crucial component of microgrids.
The SkyGrid Energy microgrid has been fully operational since April 2013. In addition to the NPS 100 wind turbine, which is the primary source of energy production, the system also includes a battery bank and solar panels. The system is capable of pumping more than 30 million gallons of water annually and is being used to irrigate 400 acres of agricultural land and support 14 participating farms and agricultural businesses. The project was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture. Gen-X Energy Development LLC, the project developer, plans to replicate and deploy this microgrid solution throughout Hawaii and other island communities.
“Besides providing innovation for a better world and helping increase our independence from fossil fuels, the new microgrid is also helping provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for Hawaii’s agriculture industry. This Northern Power turbine is critical to this microgrid’s success,” said Fred Brown, Gen-X Energy Development LLC co-founder.
Northern Power Systems has been an integral part of the evolving microgrid market for 40 years. Northern Power Systems turbines have been used in microgrid projects all around the world, from Alaska to Newfoundland and the Bahamas to Antarctica.
To learn more about the SkyGrid Energy project and microgrids, please join Northern Power Systems at two upcoming events. At the Distributed Wind Expo 2013 in Rochester, NY (June 11, 2013), Alan Axworthy, Director – Application Engineering, will present a case study of the SkyGrid Energy microgrid. Later in the month, on June 24, Paul Dawson, Director – Sales, Marketing and Business Development for the Americas, will present on microgrids at the Wind-Diesel 101 Workshop, at the Renewables in Remote Microgrids Conference in Toronto, Canada.
Northern Power Systems is a fully integrated company that designs, manufactures, and sells wind turbines into the global marketplace from its headquarters in Vermont, USA, with European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and a significant presence in the United Kingdom and Italy. The Company’s proven, next generation PM/DD, wind turbine technology is based on a vastly simplified architecture that utilizes a unique combination of a permanent magnet generator and direct-drive design. This proven approach uses fewer moving parts, delivers higher energy capture, and provides increased reliability due to reduced maintenance and downtime. Northern Power Systems currently manufactures the NPS™ 60 and 100 turbines.
With over 2.5 million run time hours across its fleet, Northern Power turbines provide customers with clean, cost effective renewable energy. To read more about the Northern Power wind turbines, please visit www.northernpower.com.
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- Lynda Engler