Baffin Wind Farm
- Civil Engineering (roads)
The Baffin Wind Farm is the third project constructed on the Kenedy Ranch in southeast Texas. It sits only a few feet above sea level just south of Kingsville, TX. It includes 101 wind turbines and generates 202 MW of power. Westwood is no stranger to this area as we provided civil engineering and surveying services for the previous projects constructed on the ranch. Westwood’s team of engineers was hired to develop creative solutions for design challenges unique to this site.
The area is distinctive for its fine sands that make traveling by foot or vehicle difficult, and building roads and erecting wind turbines even more challenging. The project team’s road design needed to be creative, cost effective, and above all it needed to work. The site’s low elevation near the Gulf of Mexico, with numerous protected wetlands and high water table further complicated the civil engineering design requirements.
Subgrade Stabilization Solution Saves Site Materials
The remote location and lack of suitable aggregate typically used for road construction, led Westwood to a different subgrade stabilization solution which including mixing cement into the existing sugar sand to create a solid road base. The mixture performed better than anyone anticipated and actually allowed road construction to be completed using less than half of the required aggregate called for in the original plan. The cement stabilized roads held up remarkably well through construction and are anticipated to perform well for the life of the plant.
Providing access to each turbine site was another design challenge facing the team.
High water tables required turbine foundations to be built above ground. The 8’ elevation change between the existing ground and the base of each turbine foundation required significant design and planning coordination to ensure the contractor had sufficient area to unload turbine components and erect the turbine, all while maintaining the design requirements for maximum slopes and minimum road radii.
A Job Well Done
Project manager Dan Beckmann sums it up this way, “Everything about this project was unique and highly satisfying. It was great forming a partnership between Westwood’s design team and our clients to come up with design solutions that resulted in such a high degree of success.”