We have made great progress in preparing for the arrival of our three new wind turbines. As you can see by the picture and video here, the road is just about done. KEA is installing the three 1.5 Megawatt (MW) wind turbines on Pillar Mountain this summer; we are still on schedule and progress is going well. You should be seeing the wind turbines assembled in place in August for operation in September of this year. These new turbines will help us achieve our vision of producing 95% of our energy sales with cost effective renewable energy solutions by the year 2020.
Click to play the video. You’ll hear the power of the wind and you’ll see the hole prepared for wind turbine #2’s foundation directly in front of you. Once the foundation is built and poured in July, and it has reached the appropriate strength, the foundation will be buried like the original wind turbine foundations. You can also see the road flowing from the #2 wind turbine site up to the #3 wind turbine site, and winding up to connect to the existing road. In the middle of the video, you can see a KEA truck with cable spools on it positioned by the foundation hole. KEA crews have completed the conduit installation to move the power from the wind turbines to our grid, and now they will begin to install the cable. At the end of the video, you’ll see the road continuing on to the site for the #1 wind turbine.
We are excited about bringing this project to fruition because of all the benefits that it will bring to our community. This project is part of a three-phase approach to mitigate significant diesel usage. The next step will be the installation of a 3 MW fast-acting battery system to be completed this fall, to help our electrical system remain stable as the power output of the wind turbines can fluctuate with the wind. The third step is to install a third hydro turbine at Terror Lake to increase the capacity of the hydro plant by 50%. This step is a longer-term project that won’t be completed until the end of summer 2013.
We are happy to report that the wind project, as well as the battery system and the hydro expansion projects, are on schedule and going well. We will keep you updated as they move forward.