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Message From Our Mayor-Vienna Wind Farm

October 18, 2012
Northern-Sun Print

As I write this, we are finishing up the second week in October and for the first time ever we are done with harvest at this early date.

After the last article, I was informed that I had missed one of Gladbrook's business professions several of which are located in our town. I missed the several locally owned trucking firms here in town. Sorry about that as you are all very important to Gladbrook.

I need to recognize three events that have happened this past month. First the Gladbrook Public Library hosted a Civil War Exhibit which was attended by almost 400 people. Eldon and Dorothy Wiese celebrated their 60th anniversary and the Peace Church will be celebrating their 125 anniversary. All are great events and congratulations to all on those achievements.

Article Photos

Pictured is The Vienna Wind Farm along the landscape south and west of Gladbrook. When completed there will be 45 2.3 megawatt turbines with 108 rotors (354’4”).

If you have been south or west of Gladbrook in the last three weeks, you may have seen a big change in the landscape. The Vienna Wind Farm is going up fast. When done there will be 45 2.3 megawatt turbines with 108 rotors (354'-4").

Here are some of the facts about this wind farm. First there was approximately 85,000 tons of aggregate brought in to improve the roads and for the foundations. They had to improve over four miles of county roads. In addition, they built approximately 9.7 miles of access roads into the turbines. This total project will employ approximately 250 workers. Next holes were dug for each windmill. The foundations are then poured in an octagon shape and are 66" across at the bottom. Each foundation has 531 cubic yards of concrete and 48 tons of reinforcing steel in it.

There are two rings of 8' bolts in each foundation that goes from the base to the top of the foundation to anchor the tower. Each ring has 80 bolts for a total of 160 anchor bolts. These bolts weigh approximately 85lbs. each. There are several cranes at the sites to erect the towers, each crane weighs up to a million pounds and takes over 20 semi trucks to haul into the site. When moved from tower to tower, they are driven over massive timbers placed in front of the tracks to help reduce compaction. Power lines are cut and buried for their passage.

The crane lifts each section one at a time into place. The base section of the tower weighs 117,000lbs, the mid section weighs 114,000lbs and the top section weighs 109,000lbs. All sections are bolted together with the bolts being hand torqued.

Next the nacelle (turbine) is lifted into place. It weighs 193,000lbs. There are workers on top of all the different pieces to bolt them into place. Once the nacelle is in place, the rotor (hub & three blades) is lifted up and bolted on. The rotor is assembled on the ground before being lifted into position. The rotor weighs 145,000lbs. The total weight of each windmill is approximately 678,000lbs. Approximately 134,000 lineal feet of trenching and 402,000 lineal feet of collection cable will be installed.

Each turbine supplies enough power for 700 750 homes. With this site, the Vienna Wind Farm supplies power for 31,500 to 35,750 homes across the United States. The maximum speed that the turbine will run is 18RPM. This equates to a blade tip top speed of approximately 228MPH. This project is doing business with local vendors for dumpsters, toilets, ice, water, fuel, machine shop, county permits, grocery stores, motels, campgrounds, apartments, restaurants, etc. with approximately 80% of the workforce hired locally. Each turbine has approximately a $2.5 million price tag with a total project investment of over $112.5 million.

The completion date is December, 2012. Mortenson Construction is the contractor for this project. They have been great to work with and are a great economic boost for the area. We welcome them to our town.

Keith Sash, Mayor



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