REpower constructs first turnkey wind farm in Canada

The joint pilot wind power project “Site Nordique Experimental en EolienCORUS” (SNEEC) consists of two REpower MM92 wind turbines, each with 2.05 MW nominal power. The Wind Energy TechnoCentre is the developer and owner of the project.

Constructed in the town of Gaspé, near Rivière-au-Renard, the SNEEC wind farm project uses two special cold climate versions (CCV) of the REpower MM92. These have been designed for the demanding conditions of the Canadian 60-Hertz network.

“Our cold climate test facility in Inner Mongolia has already allowed us to prove that our technology can be used reliably, even at extreme temperature fluctuations and temperatures as low as -40º C”, says Matthias Schubert, CTO of the German wind turbine manufacturer. “Nevertheless, it is important to thoroughly test the climatic conditions on site before we start to install the up to 477 REpower turbines for the Québec tender, which we recently won.“ This project is also to be used to provide training to REpower’s local service employees.

The humid climate (compared with China) is a particular challenge for the turbine technology: “We want to ensure that our turbines can prove their value, even in moist Canadian weather conditions with lots of ice and snow”, continues Schubert.

Despite the bad weather, construction of the wind farm as a turnkey project was completed this winter. In its capacity as sub-contractor, RES Canada was in charge of the balance of plant (BOP), i.e. the additional park components such as foundations and inner-farm cabling. The rough ground around the wind farm presented the main challenge. A seven-kilometer access road had to be constructed specially for the heavy transporters and the components had to be transported over unusually steep gradients.

Together with the owner of SNEEC, the Wind Energy TechnoCentre, as much experience as possible is now to be gained from the test run and collaboration between the project partners. A REpower Systems AG team will monitor the turbines intensively over the coming months.

REpower Systems AG is one of the leading manufacturers of onshore and offshore wind turbines. The international mechanical engineering company develops, produces and markets wind turbines with rated outputs of 2 MW to 6.15 MW and rotor diameters of 82 meters to 126 meters for almost any location. The company also offers a comprehensive portfolio of service and maintenance packages. The profitable and reliable systems are designed at the REpower development centre in Rendsburg and manufactured at its Husum (North Friesland), Trampe (Brandenburg) and Bremerhaven plants.

In the first nine months of fiscal year 2009/10 REpower Systems AG installed and recognized sales for 311 wind turbines with a total rated output of 661.70 megawatts (MW) (corresponding period of the previous year: 416 wind turbines with 850.00 MW). The order backlog amounted to 607 wind turbines (31 December 2008: 708 turbines) with a total rated power of 1,390.66 MW (31 December 2008: 1,502.60 MW).

With over 1,900 employees worldwide, the company, listed since March 2002 and headquartered in Hamburg, can make use of the experience gained from the manufacture and installation of over 2,000 wind turbines around the world. REpower is represented by distribution partners, subsidiaries and participations in European markets such as France, Belgium, the UK, Italy, Portugal and Spain as well as on a global level in the USA, Japan, China, Australia and Canada.

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., was founded in 2003 and is based in Montréal, Québec. RES Canada is active with the development and construction services in most Canadian provinces. RES Canada is a member of the Saint Laurent Énergies consortium building out 954MW of capacity in Quebec, and is also the developer, constructor and owner of 198 MW of wind farm projects in Ontario, which will begin construction in 2010.

Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas), is a fully-integrated renewable energy company that develops, constructs, owns, and operates projects across the United States (US), Mexico and the Caribbean. RES Americas has more than 4,100 MW of construction projects, which represents more than 10% of the operating installed wind capacity in the US, and has over 12,500 MW in development. RES Americas’ corporate office is located in Broomfield, CO with regional offices located in Austin, TX; Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN. RES Americas continues to seek new locations for wind and solar projects as well as opportunities to participate in other forms of renewable energy.

The Wind Energy TechnoCentre is a non-for-profit organisation that fosters the development of an industrial wind energy network in Québec, able to compete on North American and world stages, while valorising the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands as being central to this emerging niche of Québec’s economy. Surrounded by wind parks in high altitude in the Gaspé Peninsula, the Wind Energy TechnoCentre is dedicated to research, development and technology transfer. Its location make the research centre a unique natural laboratory to study the impact of the Nordic environment for the use of wind energy. The Wind Energy TechnoCentre is a member of the Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet) which includes 16 Canadian universities and industrial partners and is recognised as a College Centre for the Transfer of Technologies (CCTT).