Canada’s largest wind farm built with Manitowoc cranes
In rough, mountainous terrain, four Manitowoc 16000 crawler cranes are working on the Lac Alfred Wind Farm, the biggest wind farm in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Located near the village of Amqui, Quebec, the project consists of 150 wind turbines. Upon completion, the farm will have a capacity of 300 MW.
The four Manitowoc 16000s, which were rented from Guay, a Quebec-based rental company, are lifting the top sections of the wind towers, the nacelles and the full rotors. The heaviest component the cranes are lifting are the 72 t (79 USt) nacelles, which need to be hoisted to the top of the 80 m (262 ft) high towers.
For the Lac Alfred Wind Farm job, the cranes are configured with the 16000 Wind Attachment, which boosts capacity and increases maximum boom length to 90 m (295 ft). The 400 t (440 USt) capacity Manitowoc 16000 offers a 96 m (315 ft) boom when fully erected. Apart from the four Manitowoc 16000s, Guay sent six other Manitowoc crawler cranes to the Lac Alfred Wind Farm.
The project at Lac Alfred has not been easy due to mountainous roads and frigid winter temperatures. The project has also experienced temporary delays due to extreme snowfalls. Icy wind blowing from the St. Lawrence River also caused with the cranes’ booms to frost. Still, the Manitowoc crawlers were up to the task.
Guillaume Gagnon, assistant to the president of Guay, explained that the cranes’ durability and design enabled them to operate well under these tough conditions.
“The Manitowoc 16000 does a fantastic job in rugged conditions,” Gagnon said. “The crane has good uphill, downhill and side slope tolerance that allows it to travel over rough terrain while completely assembled.”
Gagnon explained that the company chose to use the four Manitowoc 16000s with Wind Attachments for the job because of their unique, exceptional capabilities.
“The four Manitowoc 16000s turned out to be the most cost-effective, productive and simple solution,” Gagnon said. “Despite the wide range of difficult conditions we have encountered in the mountains, the Manitowoc 16000s have been excellent workhorses -- durable, reliable and simple to operate, and they have taken a load of stress from our shoulders.”
The project began in May of 2012 and is due to finish in October 2013. The wind farm is being developed by EDF EN Canada, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company. The company is a green energy market leader and is based in Toronto. EDFT says it is dedicated to harnessing the Earth’s renewable resources.
Headquartered in Quebec City, Guay is a family-owned company that was started by Jean-Marc Baronet in 1964. The company is pleased that Baronet continues in his role as president. Guay specializes in crane rental, rigging and transport, and has one of the largest crane fleets in North America. With 15 branches, the company owns 550 cranes, ranging from 2 t (2 USt) to 1360 t (1500 USt).
Manitowoc distributor Cleveland Crane and Shovel, the company that sold Guay the Manitowoc 16000s, has been selling cranes to Guay for 10 years. Based in Bedford Heights, Ohio, the company specializes in hydraulic crane, crawler crane and rough-terrain crane rentals. Cleveland Crane and Shovel has been in business since 1978 and is one of the oldest Manitowoc dealers in the United States.
Construction of the Lac Alfred Wind Farm is being carried out by Quebec-based company, Borea Construction. Specializing in wind farm construction, the company has installed nearly 650 turbines across Canada.