Wind Project Performance 1994 Summary
Production and Capacity Trends
During 1994, 54.3 megawatts (MW) of new capacity was installed in California (Figure 4 -- Statewide wind Capacity). This new capacity was significantly higher than the 9 MW installed in 1993 and 16 MW installed in 1992. However, despite this added capacity, total installed capacity decreased due to continued attrition of older turbines.
Wind output during 1994 was consistent with the typical California wind resource profile: low winds at the beginning and end of the year and high winds during spring and summer when the heating season creates a natural draw of cool coastal air into hot inland valleys and deserts. WPRS data indicates that 73 percent of all annual output was produced in the second and third quarters of 1994 (Figure 5 -- Statewide Wind Output [Millions of kWh]).
This is a good seasonal match to California's peak demand for electricity during summer months. Quarterly capacity factors were consistent with the California wind resource profile previously discussed. The statewide capacity factors for 1994 were 12, 34, 32 and 13 percent respectively for the first, second, third and fourth quarters.
The 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity produced by California wind project operators during 1994 exceeded production for all previous years, including 1991 and 1992 when reported installed capacity was higher (Figure 6 --Statewide wind Output 1985 to 1994). Increased production at lower installed capacity during 1994 may result from high availability of the wind resource and/or improved turbine performance. Successful project redevelopment efforts may also have contributed to increased electricity production during 1994.