Michels Completes Largest On-shore Wind Turbine

February 2009 Vol. 64 No.2

With that philosophy in place, Michels completed construction on 163,000 feet of trench for the underground electrical collection system. Crews, despite the weather, managed to complete the trench ahead of schedule.

Largest on-shore turbine

Construction of the Meridian Wind Farm included assembling 3.0 MW turbines – the largest on shore wind turbine in the United States. Each turbine is 262 feet high with a rotor that is 295 feet in diameter.

The two project substations and 16 miles of new overhead transmission lines were designed with future expansion in mind.

The entire project spans approximately 18,000 acres; however, only 250 acres or 1.3 percent of the land area was taken out of crop production for the turbines, roads, operations facility and the substation.

Environmental issues were a priority. The Meridian Way Wind Farm was built to prevent the annual emission of approximately 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere.

Another advantage to the environment with the wind farm is the displacement of 14,000 pounds of mercury each year. Experts say the avoided pollution is equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off of the road.

Rubber tire cranes were used to help with the foundation, moving rebar and setting forms. The RT cranes were also used to help facilitate transmission lines.

Crews were able to utilize the Telebelt or concrete conveyor in an innovative way to assist in moving concrete from the truck to the job site as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Safety was a key factor on this job. “Throughout the duration of the work Michels has done here, we have made sure to have a safety person, on site, the whole time,” explained Sutton.

The strategy paid off for Michels. “Despite heavy thunderstorms, loose soil, hail and major lightening storms, crews continued to work safely and ahead of schedule. That’s always a good thing,” added Robinson.

Crews from Michels finished the project on time and estimate full restoration of temporary construction areas back to native conditions by the end of the year.

Michels Corporation, (920) 583 3132, www.michels.us

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