Client Iberdrola Renewables
Location Berkshire and Franklin Counties, Massachusetts
Scope 19-turbines, 28.5 MW, 1,250 acres

Hoosac Wind Power Project

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Civil Engineering; Construction Documents
  • SWPPP and SPCC
  • Septic Design Services
  • Construction Administration and Oversight
  • Pre- and Post-Construction ALTA Survey
  • Transmission Interconnect Construction Staking and Easement Exhibits

Overview

High up in the hills of northwest Massachusetts, 19 wind turbines generate 28.5 megawatts of clean energy and do their share to boost the local economy. This Iberdrola Renewables project is spread out over roughly 1,250 acres of rugged terrain in the towns of Florida and Monroe. 

Wading Through Tough Terrain, Regulations, and Weather

Westwood was brought onto the Hoosac project after the design and permitting was underway to assist the client in completing the work. There was one way in and one way out of this project. The rough wooded terrain, bedrock, and environmental restrictions posed greater challenges as issues surfaced with the early design. Design, construction, and scheduling were also tested by one of the snowiest winters on record and the blast of Hurricane Irene. 

Minimal Environmental Impact

Wetland streams required rigid protection from the impact of construction. Pre-designed access roads crossed several streams in areas having steep grades and tight setbacks. Runoff from excess melting snow and raging waters from Hurricane Irene eroded the streams to a much deeper level than originally recorded. To prevent a need to reopen the permitting process to accommodate changes resulting from the forces of nature, Westwood’s team incorporated creative design techniques for the culverts and grading issues which minimized the environmental impact. 

Improved Road Design

The site originally included one road design for access roads. Westwood worked closely with the geotechnical consultant to identify and locate bedrock areas which would affect the road design. This information, combined with the identification of ridges and side slopes, showed that a typical section throughout the project wasn’t the most economical solution. To solve the problem, Westwood’s team created multiple road designs, which saved the client excess labor and materials costs. Gabion wall baskets were used to tie in to the existing grade in steep, tight areas, which enabled the team to build the wall as they moved along the project.