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Drilling and Blasting  

Author:  | Aesthetics, Environment, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York

KIBBY WIND POWER PROJECT, Kibby Mountain, ME

SCOPE OF WORK:
Forty-four wind turbines on the boundary of mountains with roads and foundations across two ridgelines, 10 miles into the Maine woods. Foundations for these towers require MD&B to install 616 rock anchors. This infrastructure is an alpine climate unique to this elevation of 3,000 feet.

CHALLENGE:
Road construction to fill-in valleys often utilizes rock from the next peak. Drilling and blasting for these remote peaks requires equipment, material, and crew across valleys of industrial forests with steep terrain. Between weather and rugged terrain, it takes extraordinary efforts to achieve 5,000 cubic yards of rock blasted every day for fills in the valleys.

OUTCOME:
The team met the challenge by blasting through huge topographical features to create both the material needed and the grades required. Rock anchors for the foundations are designed with a larger diameter anchor than previously utilized. Testing these anchors to 679,000 lbs has proven the bond passes all PTI specifications.

SCHEDULE:
This clearing of rock for access has been accomplished with a winter shutdown of only three months.

SUMMARY:
The project’s success will give Maine people more jobs on future projects, as well as more green power.

BRODY MOUNTAIN (BERKSHIRE) WIND PROJECT, Hancock, MA

SCOPE OF WORK:
These nine wind turbines on Brody Mountain in Hancock, MA constitute the first commercial wind farm in MA. This project is backed by 18 municipal and electrical companies throughout the Commonwealth, and has extensive support from the Governor and State leaders.

CHALLENGE/SCHEDULE:
The job was awarded on a fast-track basis when the owner found GE turbines could be delivered a year early. Our team bid this lump sum/design build to meet the aggressive schedule.

OUTCOME:
We started on a site that an earlier contractor had abandoned and are meeting all of the schedule and quality expectations of these multiple owners.

STETSON WIND TURBINE PROJECT, Danforth, ME

SCOPE OF WORK:
Thirty-eight wind towers accessed with 9 miles of road. This road provides access for the erection crane that travels 32 feet wide and 250 feet tall as it moves from tower to tower.

CHALLENGE:

  • To design a road that worked with contours and allowed the crane the appropriate grades and radii.
  • Install competent rock bolts for the foundations with their huge wind loads and marginal geotechnical conditions.
  • Start the project in the winter of 2008 with roads and foundations complete by June.

OUTCOME:
The team met the challenge by blasting through topographical features to create both the material needed and the grades required. The foundations were accomplished with the highest capacity solid rock anchors available.

SCHEDULE:
The schedule was achieved throughout the winter construction in Northern Maine.

SUMMARY:
The team has built the two wind farms in Maine and is ready to accept the challenge of other wind farms.

WIND TURBINE PROJECT, Lempster, NH

SCOPE OF WORK:
Twelve 2 MW Wind Turbines in Western NH. Drilled and blasted rock through Winter and Spring 2008 to construct mountain access road for installation and maintenance of turbines. Installed 216 rock anchors for foundations.

CHALLENGE:

  • Drilling and blasting an access road through mountainous terrain in an unforgiving geology.
  • Drilling and blasting and installing rock anchors in Winter and Spring conditions.
  • Working through a snowfall that was nearly twice the average for that particular region to maintain an aggressive schedule.

OUTCOME:
The team met the challenge by drilling and blasting through huge topographical features to create both the material needed and the grades required. The foundations were accomplished with the highest capacity solid rock anchors available.

SCHEDULE:
A late January start to accomplish access for tower erection in June. The roads and foundations had to be constructed and ready to receive tower pieces in June allowing the summer months for the heavy rigging involved with constructing the turbines.

SUMMARY:
We were participants in the construction of the first commercial wind power facility in New Hampshire. We accomplished a difficult project and strengthened our connections with our teammates/customers.

WIND TURBINE PROJECT, Mars Hill, ME

SCOPE OF WORK:
Twenty-eight wind towers at an elevation of 1,800 feet required road construction for the largest crane in the Northeast to move from tower to tower.

CHALLENGE:

  • To design a road that worked with contours and allowed the crane the appropriate grades and radii.
  • The foundations have huge wind loads and had marginal geotechnical conditions.

OUTCOME:
The team met the challenge by blasting through huge topographical features to create both the material needed and the grades required. The foundations were accomplished with the highest capacity solid rock anchors available.

SCHEDULE:
With the final permits in place in Spring, the work had to be completed before severe winter conditions. An 18-month schedule was compressed to 9 months.

SUMMARY:
The project’s success will give Maine people more jobs on future projects, as well as more green power.

WIND TURBINE PROJECT, Princeton, MA

SCOPE OF WORK:
Two wind towers required road construction for the upgrade of a local utilities’ alternative power source.

CHALLENGE:

  • To design and build a road which met an aggressive budget while providing adequate access to allow delivery and assembly of towers.
  • Creative location and construction of roadway and foundations to put the towers in the most effective location while minimizing excavation.
  • Performing drilling and blasting activities adjacent to an environmental conservation area.

OUTCOME:
The team accomplished the road construction with an evolving design. A rock anchor design was implemented which minimized the size of the foundations.

SCHEDULE:
Work was completed in rainy months of the Fall in order to get the project closed up prior to the Winter months.

SUMMARY:
This project’s success contributes to a progressive utilities’ vision of providing local alternative energy.

WIND TURBINE PROJECT, Altona, NY

SCOPE OF WORK:
Sixty 2MW Wind Turbines near Plattsburgh, NY. Drilled and blasted rock in Spring 2008 to construct foundations for installation and maintenance of turbines.

CHALLENGE:
Drill and blast 2 foundations per day as contractor removed the overburden.

OUTCOME:
The team met the challenge by blasting in close coordination with the general contractor.

SCHEDULE:
The work was finished July 2008, as the schedule required.

SUMMARY:
Spread footer foundations required considerable blasting to accomplish 2 towers per day.

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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