Puget Sound Energy's Lower Snake River
by Cameron Chai
Puget Sound Energy declared that it has completed the installation of its first wind turbine at Garfield County, Washington. PSE is currently carrying out the Phase 1 of its 343 MW Lower Snake River wind-power project.
Siemens Energy, the wind turbine manufacturer, has completed the installation of the 430 feet tall wind turbines braving gust winds of 70 mph speed or more.
PSE has commenced the Lower Snake River Project along with RES Americas as its lead contractor, Siemens Energy and other sub-contractors in May 2010. During the initial phase, the project concentrated in building roads leading to the project site, installing underground power cables to deliver the power generated by the turbines to huge substations. The operations and maintenance building required for the project is being built over a 1,500 square-foot area on Falling Springs Road to host the, workshop, office, and warehouse of the wind project.
The power generators and gear boxes that are required for the wind turbines are being produced at Siemens plant in Hutchinson, Kan and its factory in Fort Madison, Iowa is manufacturing the turbine blades. Large cranes with booms stretching over 390 feet are utilized to fix the nacelles, tower sections, and blade rotors of the wind turbine. The diameter of each rotor measures around 331 feet, which is more than the length of a football field. The turbine towers are fixed to 8.5 feet thick concrete structures that weigh over 600 tons to carry the wind turbine weighing over 340 tons.
The project gets completed with the installation of all the 149 turbines in the spring of 2012 to supply electricity to around 100,000 homes.
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