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Saint Robert Bellarmin Wind Farm is on its way

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St Robert Bellamin Wind Farm

Main contractor Borea Construction is building a new wind farm in Canada.

The Saint Robert Bellarmin Wind Farm is located just two hours away from Quebec City in the Saint Robert Bellarmin area, just north of the American border. Comprising 40 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 80MW, the completed wind farm will provide enough power for 20,000 homes.

The scheme is valued at £127m (approximately $200m) and has been funded by EDF EN Canada. The energy created will be managed by EDF EN Canada, however maintenance operations will be conducted by their sister company, Enxco Services Canada. During the course of the project over 100 jobs are being created, including five permanent operation and maintenance jobs.

Hydro-Quebec began tendering the project for 2000 MW of wind power energy in 2007 and EDF EN Canada was announced as the winner in 2009. Following the announcement, EDF EN Canada selected the Saint Robert Bellarmin site and conducted an impact study to address any environmental issues. The study took into account the impact the project would have on fauna, indigenous wildlife and river crossings and then presented the results to the local government. Following a successful study, authorisation was then given for EDF EN Canada to proceed with the project.

Before construction could begin, it was necessary to conduct a small amount of preparation work. As the wind farm is being constructed atop a mountain, a small amount of tree felling was required in order to clear the site. Minor modifications were then made to roads to improve access for the transportation of materials to and from the site.

St Robert Bellamin Wind Farm

A number of infrastructure roads were built on the development using locally sourced materials, such as rock recovered from the site. These materials were then used to reduce the amount of vehicles required to transport material to and from the site.

As the Saint Robert Bellarmin Wind Farm is located near to a large maple syrup producer, arrangements were made to reduce the impact that the construction work would have on the company’s production schedule.

Construction of the turbines began with the erection of the first five turbines in December 2011, which allowed EDF EN Canada to eliminate any problems that could occur before full scale construction began in 2012.

Narrow cranes weighing 700 tonnes and measuring 4 metres wide will be used to install the turbines. Most of the components will be lifted mid-May 2012 and erection will begin in early June.

The turbines are being manufactured by REpower Systems and were chosen because they are robust, therefore making them ideal for operating throughout Quebec’s varying weather conditions. The turbines are MM92 models and stand at a hub height of 80 metres high, with a diameter of 92 metres and a power capacity of 2MW. Foundations are being constructed using concrete and rebar.

St Robert Bellamin Wind Farm

EDF EN Canada Programme Manager, David Gallagher, said:

“It’s very important for us at EDF EN to get a project like this underway and we’re very proud of our accomplishments so far. Saint Robert Bellarmin Wind Farm promises to bring amazing returns to the local community, who we’ve had a lot of support from.  Our aim is to make sure that this wind farm is built on time and to the requirements set out by Hydro-Quebec.”

EDF EN Canada Inc Vice President, Stéphane Boyer, added:

“The reception and support from the community of Saint Robert Bellarmin and the MRC du Granit have largely contributed to the success of this project. We extended our gratitude to the Quebec Government departments for their diligence to develop this project in an ‘accelerated’ mode, allowing the Saint Robert Bellarmin wind project to achieve commercial operation in early 2012.”

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