The Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County, Wis., obtained the green light for development when project owner We Energies received the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorizing the construct on Jan. 22, 2010. Construction began on May 17, 2010, and named upon a Wisconsin-based alliance to design and build the wind farm, which is made up of 90 Vestas V90 1.8-megawatt (MW) turbines.
For the project’s assortment process, We Energies turned to Michels Communications, a division of Michels Corp. As one of many top rated ten utility contractors in North America as well as a leader in wind farm development, Michels Corp. has more than three,600 MW of wind farm encounter. Michels continues to be with theto fulfill its Renewable Portfolio Common, which was signed by then-Gov. Jim Doyle in 2006 and involves Wisconsin utilities to make 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2015.
Though Michels Communications performs an excellent offer of collection process do the job, which includes trenching, plowing, boring and wetlands crossings for wind farms through america (which have not long ago integrated Shirley Wind Farm in Shirley, Wis.; Bison Wind Farm in New Salem, N.D.; Buffalo Ridge II in Brookings, S.D.; and Elm Creek II in Jackson, Minn.), the amount of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) perform carried out at Glacier Hills makes it unique.
Also to the 50 miles of electrical power and communications techniques that Michels Communications will be setting up by means of trenching, roughly 6 miles of 6- and 8-in. HDPE pipe had been to become put in by means of HDD.
Immediately after the arranging and early civil do the job were finished, Michels Communications started its collection process do the job just since the Wisconsin climate was beginning to turn for that worse. Battling 1st freezing rains and then snow, Michels dealt with climate issues in the beginningvast wind farm expertise, even so, created the troubles seem minor.
To offer with the cold weather and likely freeze-ups, Michels used heated tents and, sometimes, heated trucks to maintain its rigs and reclaiming machines running powerful. As with all of its operate, Michels reclaimed all of its material, amassing, containing and reusing the drilling fluid when feasible.
Using Vermeer machines ranging in dimension from 36×50 to 100×120, Michels started to drill. One of the largest difficulties the organization encountered was the different substance underground. Also towards the presence of wetlands from the region, there was also a big volume of rock that Michels Communications encountered.
Since the ground trembled alongside a busy state highway, there may be no mistaking it !X even a seemingly easygonna be uncomplicated. Other crossings as a result of similarly challenging rock achieved almost 1,000 ft.
However it wasn’t just stable rock that Michels dealt with. Actually, among the most important difficulties on this specific position was the varying soil ailments Michels encountered on its drills. Ranging from sand and gravel to solid rock and cobble, the shifting ailments needed distinctive awareness all the way through the drills.
On the list of drilling foremen on the position for Michels, Rodney Hopp, stated that the continuously transforming conditions posed a problem. “It would modify from a nice sandy soil to strong rock much like that,” Hopp mentioned. “So we had to use numerous various drill fluid additives and reamers to maintain manufacturing.”
Maintaining great relations with regional landowners was essential. The two Michels and We Energies stayed in common contact so as to coordinate the work and recognize their needs. In addition, safety was a problem due to a relatively significant Amish population and the existence of the busy biofuel plant that noticed grain trucks arrive and go all day lengthy. Meeting these requirements expected additional flaggers and an knowledge of Amish culture.
The One Michels idea, that is a shared security15 divisions and subsidiaries, has showed its power on the Glacier Hills task. Because the calendar moved into 2011, the task was just about incident-free. Furthermore, the Michels Environmental Resource Group (MERG) continues to be carrying out normal web site inspections and environmental monitoring for that undertaking. Led by MERG manager Dave Melum, the group has worked to make sure full environmental compliance around the task.
Although the drilling crews worked around the actual drilling with the holes, support crews worked to assemble the HDPE pipes. Immediately after conquering the logistical conflicts of delivering 6 miles of pipe towards the web site, Michels employed McElroy plastic welding machines to fuse the polyethylene pipes, a approach that really offers for a stronger connection than welded steel. The pipes, which arrived onsite in 40-ft segments, were welded collectively up to 5 at a time to create a number of 200-ft spans for your lengthier crossings.
Irrespective of the harsh Wisconsin winter season, Michels Communications was anticipated to finish its part of the work in January. The balance of electrical assortment process construction and installation with the wind turbines is expected to get comprehensive by the stop of 2011.