Client Gamesa Wind US, LLC
Location Jack and Young Counties, Texas
Scope 75-turbines, 150 MW, 15,000 acres
Contractor Mortenson Construction

Senate Wind Power Project

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Developer Support
  • Pre- and Post-Construction ALTA Survey
  • Civil Engineering
  • SWPPP Plan
  • Contractor Support
  • Construction Staking
  • NPDES Compliance Monitoring

Overview

The 150-MW Senate Wind Project covers approximately 24 square miles of hilly and wooded terrain. Its 75 wind turbines generate clean energy and deliver an economic boost to the local communities and counties supporting the project.

Fast-Track ALTA in the Hills and Heat

When Gamesa approached Westwood to help on the ALTA survey, they were on a fast track to complete it in 30 days. The Senate Wind Project site exceeds 15,000 acres and is located in North-Central Texas - an area where steep, rolling hills and dense trees provide a challenge, even without a tight schedule. While the project was underway, the area experienced a 20-day period of 105-degree heat. Close coordination and monitoring of the crews was critical to the safety of the team and an on-time delivery of the ALTA survey.

Lots of Resources and Good Management

The team approached the ALTA schedule with a plan to mobilize eight survey crews from four of Westwood’s surrounding offices. The number of crews out on any given day would depend on project status and overlap could occur without careful coordination. To reduce the risk, a field coordinator mapped out crew objectives and locations every morning and closely tracked progress at the close of each day. As a result, the crews knew exactly where they were going and what the other crews were doing.

A nightly report was sent back to the project manager to verify that the project strategy was effective. The communication structure allowed the project manager to adjust resources as needed throughout the process to ensure that the survey was properly completed and delivered on schedule. Multiple crews helped to make certain that the field staff got the reprieves they needed to stay safe while spending long days in the sun.

Experience in the Hills

The terrain was a challenge when it came to the design of access roads and stormwater drainage, but Westwood’s prior work on similar wind projects provided the experience necessary to deliver an effective strategy to the client. The rough environment required Westwood’s team of designers to include additional detail in order to adequately illustrate the complex grading needed at each turbine pad, and various ditches and swales. Engineers worked their design through thick trees and several street crossings to deliver a plan that satisfied the clients’ needs.

Utilities Everywhere

The Senate Wind Project is situated in an area that is abundant in wells and pipelines. Existing records were deemed unreliable for base mapping, so field crews were dispatched to field-locate the above-ground utilities across the site. In order to protect the budget and avoid collecting more utility information in the field than required, Westwood worked closely with the client to control the scope of the search and to focus the field staff only on areas that were critical to the project design.