Electricity from the world's southern most industrial turbine!


On Wednesday night at 8pm, a fantastic new project milestone was achieved when we supplied renewable energy to the Ross Island Network from Wind Turbine 1, the southern-most industrial wind turbine in the world. It was too early to smile yet as the commissioning of this turbine proved to be a battle of man versus machine. However, by 10pm last night and after a great deal of persistence, the last of the minor equipment calibrations and bugs had been fixed and the turbine was left running overnight. The Enercon Commissioning Engineer, Andree Laurien was elated this morning to wake up and see the turbine continuing to generate from the windows of Scott Base.

This turbine makes a very visual statement that renewable energy has arrived on Ross Island. It’s operation, which can be viewed from both Scott Base and McMurdo Station is raising intense interest from the residents in both communities. Over the next five days, we will exploiting the good wind conditions and operating this turbine continuously to prove its reliability as part of the customer handover process.

In parallel with the commissioning of the Wind Turbine 1, the construction of Wind Turbines 2 & 3 is proceeding at a good rate with optimised processes now in place gained from experience on Wind Turbine 1. Despite the fact that the construction crew has reduced in number this week, a combination of good weather and long working days has resulted in the Wind Turbine 2 Hub and Blades lifted into position on Tuesday 1 December 2009. The team are currently pulling in and terminating the tower cables with the target to connect this turbine onto the Ross Island Network next Tuesday.

Progress on Wind Turbine 3 is also proceeding well with tower sections, nacelle and generator lifted into place this week. Currently, the hub and blades are being prepared for lifting and the team are now seeking the critical and rare weather window when winds are less than 8 knots to perform this delicate operation. Weather permitting, this turbine will be connected to the network towards the end of next week.

Finally, some of you watching the webcam this week may have noticed “Susi, I love you” painted on a large piece of cardboard fixed to the bottom tower section of Wind Turbine 3. This innovation in communications comes from our Enercon Erection Engineer, Sebastian Kunze and was aimed at his partner watching on the opposite side of the world in Germany. Some might say he is a hopeless romantic or maybe just too busy to send a postcard from the Ice the conventional way!

Have a good weekend.



1 comment:

  1. I have been following progress through the internet. Now, each time I look at the photos the blades are facing different directions which shows how they follow he wind. Man is very small n comparision to them. Great job. Hope all continues as planed. M