WORTHINGTON — As area farmers continue to harvest their crops, construction is well under way in northern Nobles County to erect more turbines to harvest the wind.
The 250-megawatt Nobles 2 wind farm, located in portions of Bloom, Larkin, Lismore, Leota, Summit Lake and Wilmont townships, will be comprised of 10 2-megawatt turbines and 64 3.6-megawatt turbines.
Timberly Ross, a public relations representative for Tenaska, said much of the work to build access roads and improve public roadways has been completed. Approximately 21,500 cubic yards of gravel went into the road improvements, with gravel coming from the Pronk Pit quarry in Rock County.
Crews are now working to pour foundations at the turbine sites.
Kevin Shouse, Tenaska’s director of engineering, said this week that turbine foundation installation work is anticipated to continue past Thanksgiving. Approximately 115 construction workers are now on the job, including office personnel based in Wilmont.
Preparations for the turbines takes a lot of work. Holes are dug 10 feet deep for the foundations that will hold 2-megawatt turbines, and 11 feet deep for foundations holding 3.6-megawatt turbines. During construction, Shouse said approximately 40,000 cubic yards of concrete will be used, as well as 3,500 tons of rebar.
“The foundation is poured in two segments,” he explained. “One base foundation pour is completed in approximately five hours. One pedestal foundation pour takes approximately one hour.”
Limited work is expected to occur between December and March, with delivery of the Vestas turbines slated to begin next spring.
“The majority of the turbine components — including all nacelles and tower sections and most blades — are being produced in Colorado,” Shouse said. “The turbine components will be transported by rail to Montevideo, and from there by truck/trailer to the project site.”
The trucks will use U.S. 212, Minnesota 23, U.S. 59, I-90 and Nobles County 25 as their route, he added.
All turbines are anticipated to be in service before the end of next year, with approximately 65 miles of underground electrical collection lines carrying the power generated by the turbines into a collector substation.