First Ravenswood Turbine Erected

Saturday was a beautiful construction day – light winds, and sunny but cool.  The first Ravenswood turbine was erected.

We had two tower sections to place, the nacelle and the rotor.  It is a bit unusual to be able to complete all of those lifts in one day, but the rotor was going up by around 2 PM.  Everything had been well prepared in advance, and was set to go.

Carlsun Energy, the contractor, has come up with some innovations that have allowed the erection part of the process to go more quickly than in the past.  In particular, it used to take almost 3 hours to transfer oil from 55 gallon drums into a container at the top that is in place to dampen vibrations.  Oil oscillates at a different frequency than steel, and so putting this mass at the top allows them to build taller towers without breaking the bank on additional thickness of steel.  The time for transferring the oil has been cut to less than an hour, which matters a great deal.

The large crane was ready to go on Thursday and Friday, but high winds prevented its use.  It is one of the risks of building wind projects – they are always built in areas with wind.  So finding the calm days, and fully utilizing the calm times is critically important.

There was quite a crowd stopped along the highway to watch the process.  These are the first wind turbines to be installed in Lambton County, and the construction process is quite interesting.  The large crane is visible from quite a distance, as it is of course higher than the top of the nacelle.

Other parts of the project are coming together.  The telecommunications wires into the substation are in place, and will be terminated in a week.  That will allows us to finish installing the SCADA system, and the transfer trip system.  With luck, we will have the main power installed by the end of next week, which will allow us to power up the turbines to finish commissioning when they are ready.

I am still hoping we can have all commissioning of the project completed by Dec 15.  It will depend in part on agreeable weather.  It will be a relief to begin earning revenue to help pay for the interest that the project is incurring today.

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