Construction started this summer at the 20MW $30 million Pringle Wind Farm in the Texas Panhandle with completion slated for the third quarter.
DeWind Co. Project Manager Hugo Ramirez tells Texas Construction that 10 80-meter towers will be strategically spread out over approximately three miles of agricultural and oil field wells. The project will have local distribution lines and some direct support of Pringle oil field operations generating a 20 mw capacity.
As of early summer, foundations were being completed. Crane operations starting at the first turbine began in June, and will sequentially move thru turbine No. 10, Ramirez says.
When it comes to creating and benefiting from a wind farm, the initial development is crucial and can be lengthy, Ramirez says. Environmental impact studies, both ground and avian, must be done. Meteorological data has to be collected for at least a year for wind, temperatures and weather data. A mast tower has to be onsite long before construction and there are land leases, projected revenue data, contracts with local utilities on power purchasing, he adds.
“It can be complicated. During construction, weather can play havoc with schedule/safety. Rain, excess winds and lightning can shut cranes down and unknowns can pop up. At one point, we hit a gas line while excavating foundations. How do you address those challenges?” One at a time, he says.
The project is under the leadership of Dallas-based Balfour Wind Energy Constructors, an operational joint venture between Balfour Beatty Construction and Mojave, Calif.,-based Wind Energy Constructors, together with SW1, a joint venture between Irvine, Calif.,-based DeWind Energy Development and Flower Mound-based Higher Perpetual Energy.
In early 2010, SW1’s operational subsidiaries awarded DeWind Co. the $30-million contract, consisting of 10 units of DeWind’s D8.2 model turbines. In late 2009, Balfour Beatty and Wind Energy Constructors formed the joint venture. In addition to the Pringle project, Balfour Wind Energy Constructors is currently constructing the 150MW Phase One of the Alta Wind Energy Center near Tehachapi, Calif.