Halkirk project set for arrival of turbines

Set to begin operating this December, the Halkirk Wind Farm is progressing on schedule as 83 turbines are scheduled to rise

Capital Power Corporation’s Halkirk Wind Farm project is gaining ground. Construction manager Jay Walker and public-relations officer Jennifer Lowry explain the 83-turbine project last week.

Set to begin operating this December, the Halkirk Wind Farm is progressing on schedule as 83 turbines are scheduled to rise between Halkirk and Castor this summer.

“We expect the turbines will arrive in the third week of July,” said Jay Walker, construction manager for Capital Power Corporation.

Two main cranes are slated to arrive this week, as crews prepare to erect the cranes, with each turbine set up in one day as part of the 150-megawatt project estimated at $357 million.

“We’ll start in the northwest corner of the project, northeast of Halkirk, and work to the east,” Walker said.

Overall, the crew plans to plant the turbines north of Highway 12 before moving to south.

“Completion of the project is scheduled for December,” Walker said.

“Rainy, wet weather has slowed the project minimally.”

Capital Power plans to host an open house at its Halkirk office this Saturday as part of the Village of Halkirk’s centennial celebrations.

Site tours planned last week during 50th anniversary celebrations of the County of Paintearth last week were cancelled as a result of wet ground, though Capital Power Corporation presented a display at the festivities to provide information and answer questions.

When the wind farm is scheduled to start operation this December, about 12 full-time staff will be employed, including technicians, supervisors and administration, said Gerry Desrochers, site manager of Vestas.

While site preparation began last month, about 80 people will work on construction at the peak of the project, which is led by construction contractor Eagle West Wind Design.

Construction crews will use two 600-tonne cranes to erect the 80-metre-high turbines with 45-metre blades.

Motorists are advised that several roads east and north of Halkirk have heavier traffic as construction crews prepare the groundwork.

“Capital Power is committed to working closely with local landowners and stakeholders during the development and operation of the Halkirk Wind Farm,” Walker said.

To make the construction easier, landowners are being requested permission for crews to transport the heavy equipment for a more direct route between sites, which will also require about 30 to 40 kilometres of new roads, said senior project manager Al Pettican.

Construction of the collector substation for the turbines at SW23-38-15 started in early April. That has increased the volume of traffic along Township Road 384 to the NW23 entrance.

Updates are provided on the website of the County of Paintearth at countypaintearth.ca.

For more work information, visit the RES office in downtown Castor.

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