The planning, development and operation of a wind power project requires that the right people with the right skills come to the table. It also requires the right location, community partners, planning and equipment to ensure success. Below we explore selected aspects of the project in more detail. If you don’t find answers to your questions here, get in touch with us and we will work towards helping you find those answers.
The Welsch wind power project will provide power to thousands of Alberta homes with clean, emission and pollution-free energy. At the same time, this project will create employment opportunities in the region and support local economic development.
Capacity & Type: A 69 MW Class 4 wind power project
Wind Turbines: Subject to AUC approval, a mix of thirteen ENERCON 4.2 MW turbines and five ENERCON 3.5 MW turbines grouped in small clusters, optimizing project capacity and mitigating visual/environmental impacts
Clean Energy Generation: The proposed wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 25,000 homes every year. The project will also offset 45,200 tons of CO2 every year
Location: 13 km to the northeast of the town of Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta
Power Purchase Agreement: With the AUC approal, the Welsch wind project will be bid-ready for the upcoming 2017 400 MW competition
When siting a wind power project, there are a few items that are really important: a reliable wind profile, of course, which helps ensure reliable generation for starters, but also, a community of visionary partners with a skilled labor force and vast landscape. We found all of this in and around the town of Pincher Creek, often regarded as the ‘Wind Capital of Canada’.
Wind Profile: Pincher Creek is nestled in the Rockies and benefits from warm and strong Chinook winds making Pincher Creek one of the strongest wind power regions in Canada
Compatible Landscape: the flat agricultural landscape, privileged road access and low environmental obstacles are near ideal
Visionary People: the town of Pincher Creek was the first to embark on this clean power vision hosting the first Canadian Wind Farm (Cowley Ridge) coming into operation in 1993. Since then, Pincher Creek has built on this vision with a total of eight wind energy projects consisting of 272 turbines producing 291.93MW of power in the Pincher Creek area.
It is critical to have equipment and technology that are suitable to the climate and existing infrastructure within the project area.
Currently Permitted Configuration
The project is currently permitted for a combination of ENERCON E-82 E2s and ENERCON E-82 E4s. Respectively from ENERCON 2 MW and 3 MW platforms, these workhorse turbines have shown tremendous operational efficiency around the world. Project parameters and technology have changed since the project was last permitted with the AUC in 2014: WWPI is therefore submitting an application to amend the AUC Approval No.U2014-445 and Permit and Licence No. U2014-446. The goal is to align the construction schedule of the project with the government’s timelines to procure additional renewable energy and to find leading edge equipment and technology that would deliver optimum output, low maintenance operation and minimal local environmental impact.
The optimal match we found for this updated configuration is a combination of the ENERCON E-126 EP4 (4.2 MW) and ENERCON E-101 E2 (3.5 MW) wind turbines. With no gearbox, mechanical noise is eliminated and lubricant use nearly eliminated; many parts have been crafted from reclaimed and recycled products like aluminum and copper; the steel sections of the towers are fully recoverable and recyclable, and with a shallow foundation, the environmental footprint is reduced. On top of these features, these turbines have enhanced safety systems, such as an internal transformer.
Model: five E-101 E2 and thirteen E-126 EP4
Capacity: respectively 3.5 MW and 4.2 MW
Height: respectively 74m and 99m
Blade Length: respectively 48.6m and 59.7m
Technology: Gearless Direct Drive
Rotor Diameter: respectively 101m and 127m