Featuring 75 turbines on 100-meter towers capable of producing up to 150 megawatts of electricity, the Senate Wind Project in Graham, Texas, is one of the first wind projects in the state to be built on a narrow ridge line. The construction site is severely constrained by permitting issues and topography. Project owner Gamesa was concerned about whether the wind farm could be constructed on such difficult terrain and whether all of the proposed turbines could be used in the area.
Bentley software allowed Mortenson Construction to model the turbine sites and identify 33 of 75 sites that had constraints related to construction, foundation, or turbine logistics. Solutions were provided to demonstrate how these constraints would be overcome, so that turbines could be offloaded and installed at maximum elevation. Ultimately, all 75 of the proposed sites were used.
The firm’s logistics plan for the 27-square-mile area permitted the offload and construction of the turbines while maximizing site elevation to capture wind resources. Mortenson Construction used Bentley civil tools to coordinate design modifications that accommodated the maximum 10% grade for turbine deliveries.
Using MicroStation, InRoads, GEOPAK, Bentley Map, and Bentley View, Mortenson Construction modeled the turbine sites at each phase of the construction process — from foundation excavation to turbine component offload to turbine erection with a 650-ton crane.