Wind turbine challenge: From permit to operation in 12 months!



3E has been awarded a full owner’s engineering contract by the Vasco and Alro groups for the design and construction of the Dilsen Stokkem wind farm, in Limburg, Belgium. The Vasco Group is specialized in designing and producing radiators and underfloor heating systems and the Alro group focuses on coating of vehicle parts. Both companies have successfully been granted the necessary permits for the installation of 3 wind turbines (rated power between 2 and 3MW each) located on, or around, their headquarters. 3E will act as owner’s representative and will be responsible for:

  • Designing the civil work
  • Supporting the electrical Balance of Plant design
  • Preparing and managing the tenders for the wind turbine, the civil Balance of Plant and the foundation packages
  • Negotiating the various above mentioned contracts with the shortlisted Bidders
  • Supporting the Financial Close process
  • Managing construction and interface between contractors
  • Commissioning the project on behalf of the Owner

Timing is tight but 3E is quite experienced with similar projects across Belgium. Naïma Vande Walle, project manager says: “This kind of project is one of the most exciting you can ever get, to go from a piece of paper-the building permit-to a fully operational and grid connected plant within 12 months, is a massive challenge. The key is to clearly identify your critical path in your project schedule, get the right people and skills at the right time, and focus on what’s important. You can easily loose 2-3 months if you are not careful, the devil is in the details.”

Rogelio Avendaño Reyes, responsible for Owner’s Engineering services at 3E, says “This type of project is becoming more and more popular because of the increase in energy prices, which lead factories to erect turbines or install solar panels for auto-consumption purposes, so they can lower the energy bills and become more competitive. From a technical perspective, this installation requires a reinforcement of the grid connection point and design that will allow the energy produced locally by the wind turbines to be used to satisfy the energy demand of both factories. In case the wind turbine production exceeds the factory energy demand, the surplus will be injected to the grid. This is a different approach from a traditional wind farm that feeds all of the energy produced directly into the grid.”