An analysis of the 10 MW Butoni wind farm in the Tropical Southwest Pacific Island of Fiji

Dayal, Kunal K. ; Cater, John E. ; Kingan, Michael J. ; Bellon, Gilles ; Sharma, Rajnish N.

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This study carries out an analysis of the 10 MW Butoni wind farm in the tropical southwest Pacific island of Fiji using 6 years of uninterrupted near-surface wind observations (2013-2018). The standard wind-industry software, WAsP is used to analyse and evaluate the wind characteristics of the wind farm and the surrounding areas. The modelled and operational AEP are discussed with the related economic analysis together with the main causes for the under-performance of the wind farm. The results revealed that the mean wind speed, power density and the AEP at the Butoni wind farm are below the utility-scale standard of 6.4 m/s, 300 W/m2 and 500 MWh/year/turbine respectively, at 55 m above ground level (AGL). The main reason for the under-performance of the wind farm is that it was commissioned for a low mean wind speed regime of Wind Power Class 1. The wind farm has a lower-than-expected capacity factor of 5.4% and a higher wind shear coefficient of 0.35. An economic analysis revealed that the payback time is 24.5 years, and the cost of energy generation is FJD $ 0.55/kWh.</p>

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