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This year, a great amount of Christmas lights ran on electricity produced by wind power plants. As the monthly production result of 65,308 MWh shows, December has been the strongest production month of the entire year. Not only the wind power division but also the photovoltaic and hydroelectric power divisions exceeded all production targets!
To some extent, one of the reasons for achieving such a great result was Cyclone Xaver which hit the German Bight on 5 December 2013. The strongest winds were measured at our wind power plant in Weener (Lower Saxony), where the storm reached wind speeds of 39.2 m/s (88 mph) for a short time! Later on, the cyclone also struck eastern Germany and Austria with measured wind gusts of 75 mph. Although these extreme wind speeds caused short reductions in capacity as well as shutdowns for safety reasons, the overall result was very positive: more than 12,000 MWh of wind power were produced without any serious damage in only three days!
A satellite image provided by the Austrian Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) shows the spectacular moment when the storm hit Austria as well. The low-pressure vortex of swirling clouds is easily found.
After the storm, the general weather situation calmed down for a while. The first shutdowns due to ice were registered in foggy eastern Austria just before Christmas. Afterwards, however, the weather situation gained momentum. Temperatures did not fall to icy levels anymore and stable winds ensured a good annual finish. Aside from the great production results, we are also very happy about the successful startup of our wind park Matzen-Klein Harras in the Weinviertel region!
In retrospect, the most successful wind yield of December was registered in the Czech Republic (+23.1%) and Germany (+16.5%) but Austria (+13.3%) and France (+9.7%) has good results as well. Unfortunately, the Canadian grid connection could not be completed before the end of the year. When an ice storm caused blackouts all over the Canadian east coast, the grid operator pulled off our connection team for damage repairs.
Moreover, we are very satisfied with our winter photovoltaic production! Everybody knows that expectations are usually lowest in December. Particularly at our Italian locations, however, the amount of days of sunshine was above average and allowed for an excellent total result of +60.8%!
We are also quite satisfied with the result of the hydroelectric division which was slightly above target by +0.9%. The production of hydroelectric power was shaped by strong production results at the Imst power plant chain (+24.5%).
Overview based on technology:
Production to date:
* Participations included in all values.