For the intrepid team at Surespan Wind Energy Services, Ltd., safely conquering rough weather and remote terrain is a breeze.
Thanks to imagery composed by the world’s best photographers, it’s easy to think that wind turbine installation takes place only on days when there’s abundant sunshine and azure skies. In reality, keeping wind farm construction on track can mean working in gale force winds and deepening rain, subzero temperatures, and under the blazing summer sun—on a single project.
That’s the scenario that played out when the specialists of Surespan Wind Energy Services, Ltd. installed the turbines at South Kent Wind, Canada’s largest wind farm. Not only is Surespan Wind Energy equipped with the knowledge, expertise, and machinery to tackle tough conditions in remote locations, the company is carving out an exciting niche doing just that.
The ability to work year-round is a rarity in the industry; most firms perform installations just nine months a year. Surespan Wind’s investment in cutting-edge equipment and its dedication to readiness, safety, and anytime, anywhere availability has positioned them as the North American leader in wind turbine installation services.
“We pride ourselves on being a company that can install turbines in very diverse climates and terrains,” said Surespan Wind CEO Jason Dashney. “The more difficult the terrain, the more specialized the service. That’s our niche.”
Lift Strength is Just Part of the PictureOne key aspect of the company’s success is its approach to building and managing a fleet of cranes that can erect wind turbines as safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible.
Working in collaboration with each client, Surespan creates detailed project and component staging plans that make it possible to deliver projects faster without sacrificing quality or safety.
The pride of Surespan’s crane fleet are two 750-ton Liebherr LG1750 mobile lattice boom cranes. These eight-axle behemoths reach up to 633 feet and fit on roads as narrow as 16.5 feet, enabling the firm to meet the demands of today’s wind farms as well as for future projects that will require much taller turbines in more difficult to reach areas.
Surespan is the only wind energy installer in North America with two LG 1750’s in their fleet.
The cranes are suited to wind energy projects in diverse geographic areas as different as prairie farmland, mountain ridgelines, or the arctic north.
“When we look at the installation scope, we take into consideration many factors such as road widths, crane pads size, wind speed limitations, environmental impact, site safety, crane setup time, and the ease of long-term service access,” Dashney pointed out.
“How we adapt to unique circumstances and optimize our plan based on a variety of factors shows that our technology can be more versatile than traditional cranes and is often cheaper for the project overall.”
Another critical component is having the best team in wind energy.
“My wind group is Ontario-based with local people who have been in the industry for a number of years,” said Dashney. “We are the leaders in our market when it comes to crane safety and efficiency.
“Our people are trained in all types of turbines, so we have supervisors and management who have trained on every OEM platform, which makes us very diverse in our offerings, and very knowledgeable to our clients.”
From a top-notch quality assurance team and office staff to highly experienced crane specialists and operators, company leadership has assembled a team that can do a lot of heavy lifting for their customers.
Changing Landscapes, Changing DemandsPlans are currently in the works to establish an operation in Western Canada, serving the Alberta-Saskatchewan-British Columbia markets.
“We also serve the different needs of northern and indigenous communities, and help them create more sustainable energy systems,” Dashney stated.
“One of the major benefits of wind energy has been to produce large amounts of renewable power to offset the power grid’s carbon footprint, especially from coal-fired plants,” he continued.
The power needs of communities not dependent on the grid or those that require smaller scale systems are of particular interest.
“A standalone system could be a smaller 500kW system to 900kW turbine coupled with solar and battery storage, so an independent power source for that community would be a standalone system,” he said.
“It could be developed independently by a private or community based source, and that brings in the smart grid technology as well.”
First Nations people living in Canada’s northern communities use diesel fuel as their primary source of energy, and Dashney would like to help change that.
“We are proposing to introduce a hybrid technology that allows the integration of several different sources of renewables and stored batteries rather than having diesel or standalone systems that just burn diesel, which is not very good for the environment and is very expensive,” he asserted.
“It’s a new way of thinking about how we can support remote communities whether indigenous or nonindigenous, or those that are mining-based or near a pipeline. Whatever remote application is needed, we can find the technology.”
Surespan Wind Energy Services Ltd. has quickly become the fastest growing full-service wind energy company in North America. We know the importance of renewable energy, and we have made a commitment to improve the world we live in.
We keep things simple. A team that knows what they are doing, the right tools for the job, and management with the experience to lead. We take pride in our versatility and valuable resources. From quality equipment to knowledgeable staff, we raise the bar for industry standards.
We foster a positive work environment and pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We understand the value of our human resources, and we invest our time to train our employees right.
Surespan Wind Energy Services Ltd. HQ
120 Wanless Court
Ayr, Ontario N0B 1E0