The South Kent wind farm is located in Chatam-Kent municipality of Ontario, Canada. Credit: Pattern Energy Group LP.
The 270MW wind farm provides clean electricity for about 100,000 Ontario homes. Credit: Pattern Energy Group LP.
Siemens supplied Ontario-based 124 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines for the South Kent wind farm. Credit: Pattern Energy Group LP.

The South Kent Wind Farm is a 270MW onshore wind farm located in the Chatham-Kent municipality of Ontario, Canada. The project generates enough electricity to fuel 100,000 Ontario homes.

Construction of the onshore wind project was started in early 2013 and operations began in April 2014. The South Kent Wind project was the biggest wind farm in Canada at that time.

The wind farm conserves enough water to meet the needs of 24,000 Ontarians and reduce CO₂ emissions by eliminating 165,000 cars from the road.

The project, owned by the 50:50 joint venture of Pattern Energy and Samsung Renewable Energy, created approximately 500 construction and 20 permanent jobs, including local contractors.

South Kent Wind project location

The South Kent Wind is located on a 68,000-acre site to the south of Highway 401, between Tilbury and Ridgetown, in the Chatham-Kent region in southwestern Ontario. The wind farm is developed on approximately 165 leased private land parcels.

TowerTEX’s TowerSHADE wind technology

The wind farm uses Ontario-made 124 Siemens SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines, rated at 2.3MW each. Each turbine has a blade length of 49m, rotor diameter of 101m, and rotor speed of 6rpm to 16rpm. The turbines use a three-stage planetary/helical type gearbox system. The turbine tower, including the blade, has a maximum height of 150m.

The turbine is mounted on a concrete foundation with a transformer installed at the base. The nacelle comprises electrical and mechanical components to produce electricity.

TowerTEX’s TowerSHADE wind technology is used at the wind farm to reduce the impact of night lights, as part of aviation regulations.

Construction and infrastructure details

The wind farm development included the construction of 70km of access roads and the installation of 283km of electrical cable along with the 124 wind turbines. The plant site is accessible via Highway 401 between Tilbury, Ontario and Ridgetown, Ontario, from the west and east.

Portable generators provided the electrical power required for the plant construction and commissioning. The turbine towers were erected using the Vivian, RT and AT erection cranes.

Most of the construction workforce was from Ontario and major works, including the manufacture and assembly of the turbine components, installation and project operations, were conducted in Ontario.

Transmission and sale of power generated at the wind farm

The wind farm uses a 34.5kV electric collector system, which has both underground and overhead wires. The turbines are interconnected, with underground cables passing through a transformer installed at the base of each turbine.

The electricity generated is stepped up at two 230kV substations, Sattern and Railbed, before being transmitted to the Hydro One transmission grid at the existing Chatham switching station via a 34km-long, 239kV transmission line.

Ontario Power Authority, which was merged with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), purchases the entire renewable power generated under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) until 2034.

Contractors involved

Siemens Energy manufactured the wind turbine blades at its Tillsonburg facility while Surespan was awarded the contract for installing the turbines. Ontario-made steel was used in the manufacture of the turbine towers at the CS Wind’s facility in Windsor.

Hatch provided engineering and environmental services for the wind farm. Armtec supplied the acoustical barriers installed within the substation transformers while RES Canada was awarded the balance of the plant contract.