Capture the Wind

With a reputation for installation of equipment and machinery on a wide variety of project sites, Barton Malow has long had an interest in alternative energy. When Heritage Sustainable Energy called for assistance with the new Stoney Corners Wind Farm, in McBain, Michigan, it was a perfect match.

To date Barton Malow has assembled, erected and also self performed concrete foundations for three phases of work at Stoney Corners Wind Farm, totaling 60 megawatts of power and 29 wind turbines. These include the first Fuhrländer turbines erected in the United States; the first wind project in Michigan to be completed under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which mandates that Michigan electric utilities provide 10% of their power from renewable resources by 2015; and the State’s first Northern Power wind turbine (manufactured in Saginaw, Michigan) erection.

Each 80 and 100-meter tubular steel tower had to be shipped to the site in multiple sections. Seated atop each tower is a nacelle, weighing in at 218,000 pounds. Assembly of the hub and blades take place on the ground. Once combined, the unit is lifted into place and fixed to the nacelle, which houses the turbine’s generating components. Constant monitoring of the weather and prevailing wind conditions is essential to the successful installation. Sandy soil conditions posed a challenge; several of the turbine sites required soil improvements ranging from driven H-piles to Deep Dynamic Compaction.

Barton Malow work is ongoing at Stoney Corners as well as at other Michigan sites. Wind farms offer cost savings and environmental benefits. They lower dependence on fossil fuels, and do not send pollutants into the air in order to produce electricity.

Big equipment, big expectations – and big implications for the future of the planet.