I visited with Duke Energy’s project manager, Dave Hazel, this past Monday for an update on the Frontier II wind farm project that is currently under construction in our county. I might add that it’s been an honor to work with Dave during this construction phase of this project, as he has reacted very promptly and professionally on any issues that myself or Commissioner Shanks may have had concerning this project.
As of Monday, October 12th, forty-two of the seventy-four tower sites have been completed. This past Saturday morning, one of the two 500 ton cranes was tracked across River Road east of Newkirk to finish erecting those sites north and east of Newkirk. The remaining 500 ton crane lacks two tower sites of being finished at the far south end of the project. This crane will then be completely dismantled and moved to the far north end of the project and reassembled. The sole purpose of these two larger cranes now are to set the last two sections of the towers and to set the power cell and hub. The power cell and hub are just over a 400,000 pound lift. These two cranes will have this work completed in the next two weeks, at which time they will be dismantled and hauled to Texas to be used on Duke Energy’s next wind farm project.
The two smaller cranes, which also has over four hundred feet of boom, will place the blades to the already placed cell hubs. Each of these blades are 240 feet long and weighs just over 40,000 lbs. These blades were being made in Germany and Mexico. With the ongoing hurricane season in the gulf this summer all blades now are coming from Mexico. The completion of the blade installation hopes to be completed by the first of December, if not sooner.
Duke Energy still hopes to have Frontier II on line by the end of 2020, which was the original intent. As far as the reclamation of the tower sites, this will last well into next year, as each tower site will be downsized to a minimal access area.