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Italy: helicopters used in windplant construction 

Ricigliano, Italy ““ European Air-Crane, the European office of Erickson Air-Crane (Erickson) has participated with Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark (www.vestas.com) towards construction of twelve new V90-3.0 three-megawatt wind turbine generators on windy ridgetops near the mountain village of Ricigliano, southeast of Salerno and Mount Vesuvius.

The S-64F Aircrane flew with a 400-foot (~125-meter) long line to deliver 36 blades along with 3 additional replacement blades, each measuring 144 feet (44 meters), that will attach to the twelve wind turbine generators. Narrow and steep cornering roads offered limited access to delivery of wind turbine sections but prohibited the long trailer sections needed to bring the blades to each site by ground vehicles. The S-64F carried the individual blades from a central staging yard approximately 9 miles (15 kilometers) to each construction site. The versatility, precision, and strength of the S-64 Aircrane were ideal capabilities that allowed the lifts of the thirty-nine 15,800-lb (7,110 kg) blades to be completed in less than 4 days.

“We worked closely with Vestas to craft a rigging system tailored to their individual blade type that provided a higher than expected level of stability and safety” Says Mark Lumry, Project Manager for Erickson Air-Crane. Mark worked alongside Joseph Barboni, longtime member of the European Air-Crane team and Project Manager who was instrumental in developing a key rigging component for the blade transport. “Sure, we have a strong and safe aerial platform, but it’s just as important to have good people with good ideas collaborating before work begins. The job progresses faster and safer that way.”

Doing business as Vestas since 1945, the company has been credited with development, in 1968, of the standard 3-blade wind turbine design used around the world today. Vestas currently offers several Wind turbine models from the 850-kilowatt V52, to the largest model, the V90 3-Megawatt wind turbine generator, which can generates power for approximately 3,400 households at an average wind speed of 9 m/s, according to the Vestas website.

Over 35 years Erickson Air-Crane has developed a safe, reliable, and efficient line construction system that offers valuable access to environmentally prohibitive or sensitive terrain. The effectiveness of this time-tested system has been demonstrated across the United States, Canada, and Alaska in over 8,000 miles (12,800 kilometers) of line construction.



26 February 2007

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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