Skip to Main Content
The Block Island Power Company (BIPCO), on Block Island, Rhode Island, operates an isolated electric power system consisting of diesel generation and an experimental wind turbine. The 150-kW wind turbine, designated MOD-OA by the U.S. Department of Energy is typically operated in parallel with two diesel generators to serve an average winter load of 350 kW. Wind generation serves up to 60% of the system demand depending on wind speed and total system load. Results of diesel fuel consumption measurements are given for the diesel units operated in parallel with the wind turbine and again without the wind turbine. The fuel consumption data are used to calculate the amount of fuel displaced by wind energy. Results indicate that the wind turbine displaced 25,700 lbs. of the diesel fuel during the test period, representing a calculated reduction in fuel consumption of 6.7% while generating 11% of the total electrical energy. The amount of displaced fuel depends on operating conditions and system load. It is also shown that diesel engine throttle activity resulting from wind gusts which rapidly change the wind turbine output do not significantly influence fuel consumption.