On the heels of its landmark 100th wind project announcement, Mortenson’s Renewable Energy Groups is cautiously optimistic about the potential for new wind power generation throughout North America in 2011 and 2012. Fueling the company’s outlook is the fact that Mortenson is building 11 new wind projects in North America. The 11 projects will add 1,363 megawatts of clean electrical power to the U.S. power grid by year-end 2011, providing power to an estimated 400,000 average homes.
Mortenson also is in the process of constructing two wind power projects in Canada that will produce a combined 307.8 megawatts of clean renewable energy.
Since entering the renewable energy market in 1995, Mortenson Construction has become a leading builder of wind power facilities in North America. Mortenson has erected nearly 7,000 wind turbines that generate approximately 11,000 megawatts of power in 27 states and provinces throughout North America. Mortenson also constructs solar power, geothermal and hydroelectric facilities and is a leading provider of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Behind the steady growth in wind power construction is a landmark wind project both for Mortenson and the wind power industry. Mortenson’s 100th wind project, located in southeast Iowa, is one of the largest single-phase wind projects ever to be built in the U.S. When completed in December 2011, the Rolling Hills Wind Farm will generate 443.9 megawatts of power for 130,000 average homes. The project is being built for MidAmerican Energy Company, a Des Moines, Iowa-based company ranked No. 1 in the nation in ownership of wind-powered electric generation among rate-regulated utilities. Mortenson will be responsible for the erection of 193 Siemens 2.3-megawatt wind turbines, the construction of access roads, foundations and underground collection.
“The scale of the Rolling Hills wind project is a solid indicator about the appetite for wind power in the U.S.,” said Tom Wacker, senior vice president with Mortenson Construction who leads the company’s Renewable Energy Groups. “We’re off to a good start for the first half of 2011, and we believe there are several trends working in our favor that should keep demand for our company’s wind power construction services growing steadily through 2012.”
Such trends include rising gas prices, which is fueling more interest in alternative energy solutions; a slowly improving economy, which is gradually enhancing the ability of wind power developers to secure financing for new wind projects; and projected increases for electricity due to improving economic conditions and population growth. According to American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) the windpower industry installed 1,118 megawatts in the first quarter of 2011 with another 5,600 megawatts currently under construction. The under construction figures are nearly twice the megawatts reported at this time both in 2009 and in 2010.
In addition to wind power, Mortenson’s Renewable Energy Groups has formed a new operating group dedicated to the installation of high-voltage electric transmission and distribution systems. Over the past 16 years, Mortenson’s experience with this segment of the power transmission industry has grown steadily. Mortenson has constructed and energized more than 73 high-voltage substations and interconnects through 345-kV and has installed more than 175 miles of transmission lines through 345-kV. Mortenson offers high-voltage construction expertise – transmission and substations – to both the renewable and nonrenewable power markets.
Other wind power projects currently under construction by Mortenson Construction’s Renewable Energy Groups include:
Laurel Wind Farm, Laurel, Iowa – Mortenson is constructing the Laurel Wind Project near Laurel, Iowa, for MidAmerican Energy. For this 119.6-megawatt wind project, Mortenson will erect 52 Siemens 2.3-megawatt turbines. Mortenson also is responsible for the design and construction of foundations, access roads and underground collection. Construction will begin in July 2011.
Pomeroy IV Wind Project, Pomeroy, Iowa – Mortenson is building a 29.9-megawatt wind project near Pomeroy, Iowa, for MidAmerican Energy. Mortenson is erecting 13 Siemens 2.3-megawatt turbines for this project. In addition, Mortenson is building access roads, foundations and underground collection. The project is expected to be complete by October 2011.
Macho Springs Wind Project, Deming, New Mexico – Mortenson is constructing a 50-megawatt wind farm near Macho Springs, N.M., for Element Power on a 1,900-acre site. Mortenson is erecting 28 Vestas V100 1.8-megawatt wind turbines, which will have the capacity to generate electricity for more than 7,000 homes. Mortenson also will oversee the construction of access roads, foundations, underground collection system, project substation, interconnect and an O&M building. Construction is expected to be complete by September 2011.
Elk Wind Power Farm, Greely, Iowa – Selected by RPM Access, Mortenson began construction on the Elk Wind Power Project in Greely, Iowa, earlier this month, with expected completion by October 2011. Mortenson’s responsibilities include the design and construction of access roads, foundations, underground collection and a 69-kV substation.
Oak Glen Wind Farm, Blooming Prairie, Minnesota – Mortenson is constructing the 44-megawatt Oak Glen Wind Farm near Blooming Prairie, Minn. The project’s owner/developer is the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency and its 11 member utilities. Avant Energy, a leading Minneapolis-based energy supply management company, is the overall project manager. Mortenson will erect 24 Vestas 1.8-megawatt turbines and is responsible for the design and construction of foundations, access roads, underground collection and a 69-kV substation. Construction is expected to be complete by December 2011.
Coram Ridge Wind Project, Mojave, California – Coram California Development, LLC, owned by Brookfield Renewable Power (“Brookfield”) and Coram California Development Management, LLC (“CCDM”), recently selected Mortenson, a leading North American renewable energy contractor, for the construction of a 102-megawatt wind project near Tehachapi, California. The project will use 34 Vestas 3-megawatt turbines.
Dempsey Ridge Project, Cheyenne, Oklahoma – Mortenson was selected by ACCIONA Energy North America to build the 132-megawatt Dempsey Ridge Wind Farm located on the rolling hills of Roger Mills County, Okla. Mortenson will erect 66 wind turbines and install underground collection, transmission line, a project substation and an O&M facility.
Lakefield Wind Farm, Chandler, Minnesota – enXco selected Mortenson to construct the 205.5-megawatt Lakefield Wind Project located in southwestern Minnesota. Mortenson’s scope of work includes the installation of roads, collection system, foundations, a project substation and the erection of 137 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines. Lakefield represents Mortenson’s 18th wind project built for long-time partner, enXco. Construction will be complete in October 2011.
Sherbino 2 Wind Farm, Fort Stockton, Texas – Mortenson recently began construction of the 150-megawatt Sherbino 2 Wind Farm near Fort Stockton, Texas. Located on a 20,000-acre site in southwest Texas, the wind power facility developed and owned by BP Wind Energy will consist of 60 2.5-megawatt Clipper Windpower turbines. Mortenson is responsible for the design and construction of access roads, foundations, underground and overhead collection systems, transmission line, project substation, interconnect substation, O&M building and turbine erection. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2011.
Mountain View IV Wind Energy Project, Palm Springs, California – Construction is underway on the Mountain View IV Wind Energy Project, the first wind power facility that Mortenson and AES Wind Generation have built together. The 49-megawatt Mountain View IV Wind Power Project is located on desert land in the wind-rich Coachella Valley in Palm Springs, Calif. Mortenson’s scope of work on the project includes the design and construction of roads, foundations, underground and overhead collection, and the erection of 49 MHI 1.0-megawatt wind turbine generators. The project is scheduled to be complete in December 2011.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson Construction is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction company. Ranked as the 19th largest contractor in America and the 11th largest power contractor, according to Engineering News-Record, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Seattle, with international operations in Canada and China. For more information, visit www.mortenson.com.