Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, July 10, 2009 –
A perfectly orchestrated airlift conducted by Canadian Air-Crane and Grouse Mountain operations personnel brought three 37-metre wind turbine blades, each weighing 12,000 lbs, to the Peak of Vancouver this morning. The first of the wind turbine project components arrived from Denmark by sea last week, before journeying aboard a barge passage through Indian Arm overnight, followed by novel helicopter transport from barge to mountaintop earlier today. The Erickson S-64E air-crane, one of the most powerful and versatile helicopters in the world, delivered the blades to their new home 1,250 metres above sea level as part of a concerted effort bolstered by ideal weather conditions.
“The S-64E is the only helicopter to have lifted a turbine blade this size anywhere in the world,” says John Smith of Canadian Air Crane. “The operation went very smooth, and was timed for early morning lift to avoid winds. Everything went according to plan, and the Grouse Mountain operations team worked extremely well to make something very complicated simple.”
The arrival of the blades – the appendages which form the revolving “mill” of the structure – is one of the key milestones in the production of the world’s first commercial wind turbine to feature an elevator-accessed observation deck wrapped around the tower at 58 metres. The final assembly of the turbine components is slated for late summer 2009.
“When we saw these massive blades suspended from the helicopter, everyone working on the wind turbine project here was excited to be participate in this momentous event,” says Julia Kossowski, project manager. “The unique components really start to make the turbine tangible to people.”
The wind turbine is a privately funded project undertaken by Grouse Mountain for the purpose of bettering our natural environment through the reduction of emissions, inspiring the community at large about the viability and success of wind energy (and alternative energy in general), and supplying an exciting and powerful visitor experience. Blue Grouse, the initiative that created the wind turbine project at Grouse Mountain, is the social, economic, and environmental sustainability commitment that informs all of the resort's decision-making and policy development.
Grouse Mountain’s Wind Revolution is a renewable energy movement symbolic of the resort’s leadership stance in the areas of environmental stewardship, education, research, and experiential tourism. The icon of The Revolution – the 65-metre wind turbine – will inspire visitors and onlookers alike, boldly celebrating the power of progressive thinking and our shared ability to positively impact our planet. As the vision becomes a reality in the summer of 2009, Grouse Mountain encourages you to join The Revolution.
To access photos of the wind turbine blades arriving at Grouse Mountain, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grousemountain/