REpower Constructs First Turnkey Wind Farm In Canada

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REpower Systems AG and Renewable Energy Systems Canada have successfully completed the construction of a test wind farm in the Gaspé region. The joint pilot project “Site Nordique Experimental en EolienCORUS” (SNEEC) consists of two REpower MM92 turbines, each with 2.05 megawatts 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 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 -40°ree; 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.

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.

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.

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