Buckthorn Wind

Stephenville, Texas

Buckthorn Wind, a 101 MW wind facility, began commercial operation in January 2018. The facility features 29 Vestas V126-3.45MW wind turbines and operates in the liquid Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) North region, which is situated between most of the wind generation in ERCOT-West and the Dallas load center. According to Capital Power, the current owner, “the ERCOT-North region has strong fundamentals with a high likelihood of baseload generation retirements and is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States.”

Developed by Clearway Energy Group and acquired by Capital Power in April 2020, Ulteig’s Renewables Team was hired prior to the acquisition of Buckthorn Wind by Capital Power to perform a SCADA project to clear the way for a change in ownership.

Then, in Fall 2020, Capital Power selected Ulteig to conduct the design, engineering, and integration of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system at the Buckthorn Wind collector substation.

For Ulteig, the project involved updating the substation HMI for increased information display and controls based on user permissions, replacing networking and communications equipment in support to meet the new owner network standards.  The project was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it offered an opportunity to test a new augmented technology called HoloLens, which allowed Ulteig engineers to “visit” the substation site remotely while one employee, fitted with a helmet mounted camera walked to various portions of the substation to allow other engineers to view, in real-time, different components of the substation.

The Buckthorn Wind SCADA project included a number of elements, including:

  • Inventory existing communication equipment, design for new networking equipment installation.
  • Update and modify RTU settings for Capital Power’s operational needs.
  • Overhauling the human machine interface (HMI) to provide better visibility into the performance of the substation.
  • Pre-test communication and data with new owner prior to the ownership change date.

The project was completed in January 2021.