Greg Adams, a technical consultant who develops wind farms as an associate for Chermac Energy Corp., said towers are built using cranes. Smaller yard cranes are used on the job site until the base part of a tower’s pole is erected, then larger cranes are brought in to handle the rest of each tower installation.
Adams said it takes about 10 to 14 working days, spread across a three-month period, to build a tower because workers have to allow tower foundations to cure and have to install other, underground plants and all the needed wiring.
A substation also must be built to collect the turbines’ power.
Also, weather delays – often, high winds – are not uncommon. Adams said it takes a minimum of 10 months to build a farm with 50 turbines that can generate 100 megawatts of power, but said actual construction time often runs about a year for that size of development. A typical development creates about 100 construction jobs, he said.
Once wind farms are operational, they typically employ about one person for every 10 megawatts of power they generate, Adams said.
By Jack Money
20 July 2008
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