Technology allowing offshore turbines to remain operational at very high wind speeds has been proven in Denmark, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). New software controlling the pitch of turbine blades in stormy weather enabled the 91 Siemens 2.3MW turbines at DONG Energy's Horns Rev 2 to remain operational, at wind speeds of up to 32m/sec – 25% above the standard limit.
The software monitored the wind speed at each turbine and allowed individual units to be ramped down, rather than weather conditions dictating their simultaneous switch-off.
"The result of the demo run in Denmark is that this controller could reduce reserves by 50%. And that is a lot of capacity," said Jacopo Moccia, EWEA's head of policy analysis.
The initiative is one of six from the three-year EU-funded Twenties project, which is testing ideas for more flexible renewable energy grid systems. The full findings and results will be published on 11 June.