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Crane at work site topples

A 320-foot crane used to construct turbines at the under-construction Smoky Hills Wind Farm fell Wednesday morning while it was being moved from one site to another, said Glenn Melski, vice president and manager of operations for Enel North America, one of the companies that's managing the project. ...The 56-turbine, first phase of the wind farm, which is about five miles northwest of Ellsworth, had been scheduled for completion in December. Melski said he didn't know how much the crane incident would affect the project's schedule.

LINCOLN COUNTY -- A 320-foot crane used to construct turbines at the under-construction Smoky Hills Wind Farm fell Wednesday morning while it was being moved from one site to another, said Glenn Melski, vice president and manager of operations for Enel North America, one of the companies that's managing the project.

"Thankfully, no one was hurt, and we're trying to assess the situation and see how it affects the project," Melski said Wednesday afternoon. "We're investigating what happened. It's likely wind-related, but (the investigation) is very preliminary."

When the crane fell at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, winds at the site were blowing about 40 mph, Melski said. He said he didn't know of any other instances of cranes being toppled on projects Enel was involved with.

The 56-turbine, first phase of the wind farm, which is about five miles northwest of Ellsworth, had been scheduled for completion in December. Melski said he didn't know how much the crane incident would affect the project's schedule.

"It'll be a setback, but we're looking at mitigation plans," he said. "We won't know until we know whether the crane is repairable."

Asked the monetary value of the crane, Melski said: "I have no idea.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

LINCOLN COUNTY -- A 320-foot crane used to construct turbines at the under-construction Smoky Hills Wind Farm fell Wednesday morning while it was being moved from one site to another, said Glenn Melski, vice president and manager of operations for Enel North America, one of the companies that's managing the project.

"Thankfully, no one was hurt, and we're trying to assess the situation and see how it affects the project," Melski said Wednesday afternoon. "We're investigating what happened. It's likely wind-related, but (the investigation) is very preliminary."

When the crane fell at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, winds at the site were blowing about 40 mph, Melski said. He said he didn't know of any other instances of cranes being toppled on projects Enel was involved with.

The 56-turbine, first phase of the wind farm, which is about five miles northwest of Ellsworth, had been scheduled for completion in December. Melski said he didn't know how much the crane incident would affect the project's schedule.

"It'll be a setback, but we're looking at mitigation plans," he said. "We won't know until we know whether the crane is repairable."

Asked the monetary value of the crane, Melski said: "I have no idea. They're definitely in the millions range."

Installation of the turbines began in September. The first phase of the project covers 10,000 acres and stretches nearly 10 miles from east to west along Interstate Highway 70. A second phase, which doesn't have a firm starting date, will bring the totals to 22,000 acres and 15 miles.

The first phase will generate about 100 megawatts of electricity annually, which is enough to power 30,000 to 35,000 homes. The second phase would add another 150 megawatts of capacity.

Massachusetts-based Enel North America is managing the project in partnership with TradeWind Energy, Lenexa.


Source: http://www.saljournal.com/r...

NOV 8 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/11822-crane-at-work-site-topples
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