NextEra Energy Resources will begin a six-month project next year to upgrade 214 wind turbines in the Peetz Table and Northern Colorado wind farms.
Alsey Davidson, lead project manager for the upgrade, briefed the Logan County Commissioners Wednesday morning on what NextEra calls a “repowering” project. The upgrades will be to replace blades on the turbines with longer blades, and replacing some components on some of the generator turbines.
Of the towers included in the repower project, 66 were manufactured by Siemans and 148 were manufactured by General Electric. On the Peetz Table project, 133 GE towers will have the old 253-foot blades be replaced with blades 299 feet in length. On the Northern Colorado project 66 Siemans units will have 305-foot blades replaced with 354-foot blades and the 15 GE units will receive the new 299-foot blades.
All of the wind towers will receive new blades, hubs, variable pitch systems, bearings and main shafts, and gear box and oil coolers. In addition, the GE units will receive a generator refurbishment.
Trucks carrying the new blades and components will use Colorado 113 to get to the turbine fields, and then county roads to access the sites. County Road 74 west of 113 will be heavily used to access the Peetz Table sites. County Roads 78 and 37 also will see heavy use during the project. On the east side of Highway 113, County Road 78 will be the main route used to access tower sites.
Davidson told the commissioners NextEra hopes to have agreements with the county on maintaining the roads by the end of the year and construction should begin by March of next year. The project should be finished by November 2020.
The repower project will not include any changes in tower heights, and will not require any new road construction, substation work or transmission line work. Davidson said there may be some expansion of some intersections needed so the trucks carrying the long blades can negotiate some of the corners, but the company will return those areas to their original condition or better once the project is done.
She said the project should add 10 years to the lives of the existing wind turbines.