Shoring up the foundations of 268 massive turbines at one of the largest planned wind farms in the U.S., located near Fort Bridger, Wyo., required an
Shoring up the foundations of 268 massive turbines at one of the largest planned wind farms in the U.S., located near Fort Bridger, Wyo., required an industrial-grade grout. Thus, Atlanta, Ga.-based Quikrete Companies, Inc., joined a brigade of businesses facilitating greener lifestyles when Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Inc. (RES Americas) contacted the producer for grout that could solidify each wind tower’s pedestal and base.
A world leader in wind turbine construction responsible for building more than 12 percent of U.S. wind power capacity, RES Americas began work on the farm in 2007. In view of an average 20-year life span for turbines subjected to significant strain and torque in high winds, the project required grout capable of reaching a 10,000-psi compressive strength in 28 days Û timing dictated by the construction schedule. Notes Quikrete Sales Representative Ken Diloreto, Since [our] Non-Shrink Precision Grout can achieve 14,000-plus-psi compressive strength in 28 days, it was deemed perfect for the project. And, not only was our material more competitively priced, but its ultimate strength was higher than any other grout being considered.
More than 56,000 lb. of Quikrete grout were needed to complete phase one, comprising 29 wind turbine foundations. Each 350-ft.-tall turbine required construction of a 55-ft.-wide concrete octagon to serve as the structure’s pedestal. To set the turbines in place, both fluid and dry-pack consistencies of the grout were used.
For turbine bases, foundation subcontractor SiteWorks, Inc., achieved extremely high ultimate strength using the same Quikrete product in dry-pack consistency at a low water-cement ratio. You can imagine the torque and force placed daily on these towers, especially considering the constant high winds in Wyoming. Adequate grouting to assure the overall stability of the turbines is essential to the wind farm’s success, Diloreto contends.
Besides strength, Quikrete offered the convenience of prepackaging, which expedited transport and on-site mixing. The Wyoming wind farm, scheduled for late-2008 completion, will be serviced by Irvine, Calif.-based Edison Mission Electric, generating more than 400 megawatts of power for customers throughout California. Part of a growing trend, especially on the American plains, Diloreto adds, Quikrete presently is involved also in wind farm projects in northwest Texas.