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Howard Wind is a 51.25MW wind farm distributed across 5000 acres of farm land in Stueben County, New York. Power generated from the site’s 25 REPower 2.05 MW MM92 Turbines are being sold to NYSEG. The $100 million project was seven years in planning and development and is owned and operated by Everpower, a developer of large-scale utility grade wind projects. Standing 375 feet high, the REPower turbines will provide power equivalent for running 16,000 homes annually.
Tetra Tech Construction contracted to have O’Connell Electric accomplish $5 million in specialized electrical construction services. Five O’Connell divisions contributed to satisfying the full scope of electrical work required on the Howard project which represented our 18th commercial wind farm to date.
The ability of O’Connell’s Technical Services Division to satisfy the reconfiguration requirements for the project’s control house may have been the linchpin that won us the bid. Our technicians were called on to gut an existing control house that had been configured for another wind farm before a completely rewiring the structure, installing new relay panels, and making hundreds of technical modifications and upgrades. This expanded scope of work ultimately provided significant cost savings for the developer. Technical Services also performed the high voltage splicing required on the project, partial discharge testing of the underground collection system, and commissioned both the Point of Interconnect and Collection substations which included verification of the current transformers and gas-filling of the breakers.
O’Connell presided over all tower wiring, installed the conduit and cable from the down tower assembly of the turbines to the pad mounted transformers, and executed all applicable high voltage terminations. At the substation we were responsible for the foundations, setting steel, grounding, and tie-in to the NYSEG switchyard around prescheduled power shutdowns. We utilized Local 1249 for installation of the wind farm’s underground collection system and a small section of overhead needed to cross Stephens Gulch.
Our Communications Division installed the complete fiber optic network for the facility in parallel with the high voltage collection system via innerduct, tower-to-tower and to the substation. At the substation our technicians tied into the wind farm’s router and T1 line for connection to the grid.
Through the combined expertise and skill sets of each division that participated on the project O’Connell was able to complete all work on schedule despite numerous technological challenges and an aggressive time table. In spite of the substantial man hour investment we had on this project we experienced no safety related injuries.