In the far northern reaches of Canada, sometimes referred to as the land of ice and snow, stands one of Vestas' northern-most located wind turbine-a V47-660 kW, which was installed in 2000. The turbine, which is situated at 1,500 metres above sea-level on top of Haeckel Hill in Yukon Territory, operates in one of the roughest conditions in North America, with temperatures dropping below -50 degrees celsius. Vestas, therefore, saw Haeckel Hill as the ideal location to test the commercial viability of wind power in the far north of Canada. Ten years on, the results are looking good, with the turbine meeting the electricity needs of over 130 local homes.
"When we think of wind energy in Canada, we certainly think of the southern and the densely populated areas, but in the far north wind power certainly has an opportunity to help decrease the dependency upon diesel and other fuels to make electricity," says Cynthia Wong, vice-president of business development for Vestas in Canada. "This project is proof that wind can deliver in the far north under tough conditions."
Some of the special features that were installed on the Haeckel Hill turbine include a tubular tower for indoor climbing, and other shelters to help shield the service technicians from the weather. Additionally, one-piece variable pitch blades were installed to maximise power production. With an installed wind capacity of 4,155 MW, Canada generates enough wind energy to power over one million homes. "Canada has a very bright future in wind power," adds Wong. "It represents a strong market for Vestas now and will in the future."
Vestas recently received a 149 MW order for 83 turbines for a wind-energy project in Canada. The contract includes delivery and commissioning along with a 10-year service and maintenance agreement. Delivery is scheduled for fall 2012 and commissioning expected in late 2012.