Juniper Canyon Wind Farm, United States of America
Iberdrola Renewables is constructing the 250MW Juniper Canyon wind farm in Klickitat County, Washington, USA. Iberdrola's subsidiary Pacific Wind Development owns and operates the wind project.
The development of Juniper Canyon wind farm is being undertaken in two phases. Juniper Canyon phase I with an installed capacity of 150MW commenced operations in August 2010. Environment clearances are yet to be obtained for the 100MW Juniper Canyon II.
The wind farm development was aided with the additional investment obtained through the introduction of Recovery Act in 2009. The project will supply clean energy to around 75,000 homes in Klickitat County.
Juniper Canyon wind farm details
The development of the Juniper Canyon wind farm was undertaken in a 28,000 acre private land in the Bickleton and Roosevelt regions. The Washington state department of natural resources owns part of the land.
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) permitted to connect the wind farm's transmission lines to the Federal Columbia River Transmission System (FCRTS) in 2010. Klickitat County permitted Iberdrola for laying the overhead lines over the energy overlay zone.
The wind farm will consist of 128 wind turbines, including 63 turbines in the first phase and 65 turbines in the second phase.
Power transmission from the Juniper Canyon wind farm
The power generated by the Juniper Canyon I will be sold to BPA. The power will be fed to the Rock Creek substation through 230kV transmission lines. Transmission lines of 20.4 miles were laid to connect the Juniper Canyon I substation with the Rock Creek substation.
The Rock Creek substation was expanded to interconnect it with the substation at the wind farm and new communications equipment was installed at both the substations.
A new substation at Wood Creek will have to be developed to connect the FCRTS with Juniper Canyon II, constructed over three acres of area. The decision to purchase power from Juniper Canyon is still under consideration.
Construction of Juniper Canyon wind farm
Construction of Juniper Canyon phase I included 12 segments of turbine strings across 12 miles. It also included 19 miles of access roads and a 34.5kV substation for the first phase.
The turbines are interlinked with each other and connected to the substation through a 34.5kV collector cable system. Overhead, cables of around six miles were also constructed along with 20.4 miles of underground lines.
The operations and maintenance facility of the wind farm is situated at the centre of the wind farm site along with the substation.
The turbine strings of the second phase will be arranged in 15 segments along 36 miles. The second phase will include 37 miles of access roads, a sub-station, an overhead collector, and 29 miles of underground lines. Construction of the transmission lines will be undertaken in the southward direction to the existing BPA transmission lines.
Contractors/sub-contractors involved with the development of Juniper Canyon
Mitsubishi was awarded the contract for providing the wind turbines. The transportation works were undertaken by Anderson Trucking Services.
The contract for constructing the transmission line was awarded to Hawkeye Construction. Air2 Helicopters was awarded the subcontract works.
Robinson Brothers Construction was giventhe contract for installing underground storage vaults for medium voltage cable and transformers. The installation work of the underground storage vaults was subcontracted to Parsons Electric.
Washington's renewable power market
Despite being rich in renewable resources, Washington mostly relies on fossil fuel. Hydroelectric power plants generate 70% of the annual production while coal and natural gas-fired nuclear power plants make up for the rest.
Washington is emerging as a major producer of wind energy and was ranked fifth in the US in 2008. Renewable energy sources generated a mere 3% of total electricity of Washington as of January 2011. It is, however, expected to increase to 15% of the total energy produced by 2020.
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