St. Joseph Wind Project
Located about 8 miles north of the U.S./Canadian border, the St. Joseph Wind Farm is the largest deep-pile-supported wind power project in North America.
Harnessing the great wind resources of southern Manitoba required innovative, state-of-the-art design and testing to install the 125-square kilometer wind project in an area with extremely poor soil conditions for turbine foundations. The project area is known for it's soft clay that runs 30 meters deep with little compressive strength and high moisture content. Further complicating matters, the layer of glacial till below the soft clay at depths of 30 to 40 meters is made up of clays, silts, and sands of variable bearing value.
Through sophisticated pile driving analysis (PDA) testing, static load testing, and cone penetrometer testing that were unprecedented for a wind energy project, the team designed an original threedimensional battered steel pile system extending down into the glacial till. This innovation produced safe and effective deep-pile-supported turbines in a more efficient manner than was previously possible, reducing the materials costs and time required to construct the sixty 80-meter-tall turbines. HDR's ingenuity helped achieve the client's goals. PDA testing saved more than 8,000 feet of pile length (almost 1.5 miles) while still providing the needed capacity for each turbine. The thorough testing also meant the team could use thinner pile walls, resulting in an estimated 39 percent reduction in the tonnage of materials used, saving the client money.
Delivered on time and on budget, the project's financial and environmental benefits extend beyond the small town of St. Joseph. As the largest wind energy project in Manitoba, the 138 MW project supplies enough renewable energy to power 50,000 homes.
- 2012 - Grand Award, Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota
- 2012 - National Recognition Award, Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Companies