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The winds of change; Football field-sized barge begins delivery to Wolfe Island

Mike Jablonicky surveyed the barge, long as a football field, where the enormous pieces of one of Wolfe Island's wind turbine sat waiting to be unloaded on long trailer beds. The third of 86 turbines to erected at the island's west end arrived yesterday by barge, pulled up the St. Lawrence River by tugboat from Ogdensburg, NY, where they are being shipped from Denmark.

Football field-sized barge begins delivery of the 86 turbines that are to be installed on the west end of Wolfe Island

Mike Jablonicky surveyed the barge, long as a football field, where the enormous pieces of one of Wolfe Island's wind turbine sat waiting to be unloaded on long trailer beds.

The third of 86 turbines to erected at the island's west end arrived yesterday by barge, pulled up the St. Lawrence River by tugboat from Ogdensburg, NY, where they are being shipped from Denmark.

Delivered in six pieces, the 125-metre towers weigh as much as 6.7 tonnes on their trailers and are so large they can be shipped in container ships only six at a time.

"It takes a while to get your head around the size of it all, " said Jablonicky, supervisor of the Wolfe Island Wind Project for Canadian Renewable Energy Corp.

Jablonicky stood on the edge of a gravel ramp and heavy-duty hydraulic lift built specifically for this project beside Wolfe Island's winter dock, just east of Marysville.

Canadian Renewable Energy built the ramp and lift to withstand the huge weights of the turbine towers as they come ashore.

Jablonicky said the company moves nothing on the public ferry or through its dock area.

"It's... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Football field-sized barge begins delivery of the 86 turbines that are to be installed on the west end of Wolfe Island

Mike Jablonicky surveyed the barge, long as a football field, where the enormous pieces of one of Wolfe Island's wind turbine sat waiting to be unloaded on long trailer beds.

The third of 86 turbines to erected at the island's west end arrived yesterday by barge, pulled up the St. Lawrence River by tugboat from Ogdensburg, NY, where they are being shipped from Denmark.

Delivered in six pieces, the 125-metre towers weigh as much as 6.7 tonnes on their trailers and are so large they can be shipped in container ships only six at a time.

"It takes a while to get your head around the size of it all, " said Jablonicky, supervisor of the Wolfe Island Wind Project for Canadian Renewable Energy Corp.

Jablonicky stood on the edge of a gravel ramp and heavy-duty hydraulic lift built specifically for this project beside Wolfe Island's winter dock, just east of Marysville.

Canadian Renewable Energy built the ramp and lift to withstand the huge weights of the turbine towers as they come ashore.

Jablonicky said the company moves nothing on the public ferry or through its dock area.

"It's burdened enough," he said. Even labourers, contractors and their equipment are brought to the island by a second barge that uses the winter dock.

Canadian Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Calgary, Alta.-based Canadian Hydro Developers, plans to feed more than 537,000 megawatt hours per year of electricity into Ontario's electrical grid by March 31, 2009. It's enough electricity to power 75,000 average Ontario homes.

Before that happens, a lot of work remains.

More than 50 people are now working on the project on the island. They're transforming a farmer's field into a storage area and delivering the turbines to that area. They're also building roads and preparing the erection site.

At the height of construction, as many as 250 people will be working on the project, Jablonicky said.

A wind turbine is comprised of six parts: three blades, a hub that holds the blades in place, a nacelle that holds the hub and a power module at the base.

Towers are 80 metres high while their blades are 45 metres long, making each complete structure 125 metres tall.

The pieces of the first turbine arrived Thursday by barge. One will arrive each day, six days per week, for the next 14 weeks or so.

From the barge, they are taken to a 15-hectare field bordered by Highways 75 and 96.

The tower parts are laid on wood supports in gleaming white uniform rows by two cranes, as steamrollers flatten the gravel-covered terrain.

Gravel has been laid over the field to provide support for the turbine parts.

It's a massive open space, but it will be filled by the time the last pieces arrive.

"After this [stage, the gravel] will be stripped out and it will be brought back to grassland," said Jablonicky.

Elsewhere, about 40 gravel roads are being laid, totalling about 35 kilometres.

Jablonicky said work crews will start bringing the turbines to the erection site sometime next month, once the erection site is ready.

Before that happens, a crane and crane pad must be installed.

A smaller crane will put together the lower parts of the towers while a second, larger crane will do the top components.

Cabling must be installed that will connect the turbine towers to a transformer station, which also needs to be built, that will boost the power output to 30,000 volts, a level that is compatible with the Ontario power grid.

It takes two days to construct a turbine.

The Canadian Renewable Energy team is working out of temporary quarters at the now-remodeled former Kraft cheese factory, just east of Marysville.

Later, the office will move to a 540-square-metre purpose-built operation and maintenance facility at Fourth Line Road and Highway 96, just west of Marysville.

Six technical staff and an administrative assistant will maintain the wind farm, which Jablonicky affectionately refers to as "The Park."

Canadian Renewable Energy plans to include a 30-seat classroom in the facility where it will provide hands-on training to St. Lawrence College and Queen's University students.

Wolfe Island isn't the only wind project that Jablonicky oversees.

He is also supervising the expansion of a 45-turbine wind farm in Shelburne, where Canadian Renewable Energy is adding another 88 turbines.

Once construction is complete on Wolfe Island, Jablonicky will become the wind farm's dedicated operations manager.

He plans to hold the job for a long time.

After all, he sold his home in Cookstown, north of Toronto, to buy a house on Wolfe Island.

"This is my living retirement," he said.


Source: http://www.thewhig.com/Arti...

AUG 12 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16452-the-winds-of-change-football-field-sized-barge-begins-delivery-to-wolfe-island
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