Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sewall and Reed & Reed Deliver Wind Projects on Difficult Terrain in Maine


James W. Sewall Company and Reed & Reed are helping develop wind energy projects on some of the toughest terrain in the eastern United States—the mountains of Maine. Under contract to wind developer First Wind, Sewall and Reed & Reed have teamed to deliver the largest operating commercial-scale wind farm in New England, the $100 million, 57-megawatt wind farm on Stetson Mountain. Sewall and Reed & Reed previously worked together on the $55 million, 42-megawatt wind farm on Mars Hill, the first commercial-scale wind farm in Maine. A third project, TransCanada’s $320 million, 132-megawatt project on Kibby Mountain, is under way and slated for completion in October 2010.

Built on mountain ridgelines up to 3,650 feet in elevation, with variances in elevation of over 1,000 feet, all three projects have presented unique design and construction challenges, including building access roads for transporting 120,000-pound turbines and 440-ton cranes with 300 feet of boom. Steep terrain, rocky soil, wetlands, and extremes of weather have added complexity to the development effort. The resulting product is nevertheless elegant in its simplicity—230 megawatts of clean, renewable energy that will power up to 100,000 homes annually. Currently, the Mars Hill and Stetson Mountain wind farms produce enough clean energy to power approximately 43,500 homes.

Sewall, headquartered in Old Town, Maine, has provided civil site design and permitting services for all three projects, and aerial mapping and surveying for two of them. The company is also engaged in seven additional wind projects in Maine, Vermont, and West Virginia, providing civil site design, permitting, aerial mapping and surveying, and siting analysis support using GIS and web-based technologies.

Reed & Reed, located in Woolwich, Maine, is the EPC contractor on the Mars Hill, Stetson, and Kibby projects, providing excavation and construction of the foundations and installation of towers and electrical collector systems. Reed & Reed also built the 4.5-megawatt Beaver Ridge wind farm in Maine, now in operation. Currently the two firms are working together in the pre-construction phase of other planned wind projects in New England.

Founded in 1880, Sewall is an integrated team of geospatial, engineering and natural resource consultants who partner with clients to create practical, sustainable solutions. In the last 10 years, Sewall’s offerings have expanded to include traffic, environmental and structural engineering and web-based GIS and portal technologies. For more information, contact Patrick Graham, PE, director of project development, 207-827-4456, patrick.graham@sewall.com, or visit www.sewall.com.

Founded in 1928, Reed & Reed performs construction services for public and private clients, from complex cable-stayed bridges to industrial facilities, marine terminals to wind farms, commercial and institutional buildings to pile driving, parking garages to environmental remediation. For more information, contact Patrick DeFilipp, PE, senior project manager, 207-443-9747, or visit www.reed-reed.com.

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