RES Americas, Vestas
The 150MW Halkirk wind farm is located at Alberta, Canada. It is the single largest wind-power project in Alberta and generated its first electricity in November 2012. It became operational in December 2012.
The wind project produces energy required for up to 50,000 homes, based on an average household energy usage of 1,000kWh per month. It is expected to reduce 5.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Capital Power wholly owns and financed the Halkirk project. The project development was initiated by a joint venture of Capital Power and Greengate Power. Greengate Power sold its 50% stake in the project to Capital Power in June 2011.
Halkirk wind farm details
The Halkirk wind project is developed in 15,000 acres of private land in Paintearth County. The project comprises of 83 turbines of Vestas V90 model with a generation capacity of 1.8MW each.
The Vestas turbine includes a wind sensor at the top of nacelle for determining the wind speed and direction. The turbine is attached with three 44m long blades with a swept area of 6,362m².
Each turbine tower at Halkirk is 80m high and weighs 160t. It is connected to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system which is monitored by an automated remote operations centre.
The Vestas turbines require a minimum wind speed of 11km/h to operate and are attached with an automatic system that shuts down the turbines when the speed exceeds 90km/h. The automatic shutdown system helps to avoid damage to the turbines due to changes in wind level. The average speed required for the power generation is 60km/h.
Details of substation at Halkirk wind project
The Halkirk substation 615S is located in Fourth Meridian, Paintearth county. The approvals for the power facility were granted by Alberta Utilities Commission in July 2010, and the substation was approved in August 2010. The construction of the substation was completed in October 2012.
The major components of the substation include one 240kV / 34.5kV MVA transformer, one 240kV circuit breaker, one 240kV switch, and ten 34.5kV / 0.48k V 2.5MVA transformers.
Construction and infrastructure facilities at Halkirk wind farm
The construction of Halkirk wind project commenced in March 2012. The project created approximately 270 jobs during the construction phase and 18 permanent jobs for the maintenance and operation.
The foundations for the turbines were laid to a depth of 3m and entailed approximately 400m³ of concrete laying. The underground power collector system for the turbines was arranged at a depth of 1.5m.
The Halkirk telecommunications upgrade project was developed to connect the wind project and the Jarrow Substation which located is nine miles north-west of Irma. It included the installation of a 30m tall telecommunications tower.
The construction activities also included that of the Tinchebray 972S substation, which is a 240kV switching station. It acts as the connecting point and transfers the power from the Halkirk substation to the power grid.
Sale and transmission of wind power generated at the Halkirk
The entire power generated at Halkirk wind project is sold in Alberta at spot market prices. Pacific Gas and Electric Company purchases the renewable energy credits (carbon credits) produced at the project under a 20-year fixed-price agreement.
Electricity is generated by the three-phase generator present in the nacelle and is converted by a transformer. The power generated in the turbines is transmitted to the substation at the project site through the underground cables.
Approximately 12km of 240kV transmission line (called 9L93) was laid from the Halkirk 615S substation to the Tinchebray 972S substation. The Tinchebray substation connects the transmission line 9L93 and the 9L59 transmission line.
Contractors involved with the Halkirk wind farm
The balance of plant contract for the $375m Halkirk Wind Project was awarded to Renewable Energy Systems Canada. Vestas provided 83 wind turbines for the project.
EDF EN Canada, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, has commenced commercial operations of the 150MW Lac-Alfred Phase 2 wind power project in Quebec.
Siemens Canada has secured an order from Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy to supply 124 wind turbines for the 270MW South Kent Wind project in Chatham-Kent, Ontario.