EWT to supply and install 3 DW54X-1MW turbines at Ross Island, Antarctica

April 12, 2023

EWT is honored to announce that it has signed a contract with Antarctica New Zealand, for the supply and installation of 3 turbines type DW54X-1MW, hub height 40m, at Ross Island, Antarctica.

At Ross Island there are two Antarctic research stations: Scott Base of New Zealand and McMurdo Station of the United States, just a few miles apart from each other. The wind turbines will be installed at Crater Hill, about halfway between these two stations, and will be connected to a microgrid that provides electricity to both stations. The wind turbines are part of an extensive upgrade program, including replacement of three existing 300 kW turbines, replacement of the existing flywheel storage system with a large Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), upgrade of the high voltage network and replacement of the current diesel generators at Scott Base.

The climate conditions at Ross Island are very challenging. The annual average temperature at the site is -19.5°C, the coldest recorded temperature is -58.8°C and the warmest +4.5°C, which makes Antarctica colder than Alaska. EWT’s turbines will continue to operate until -40°C without any curtailment. The wind conditions at Crater Hill are very strong, the site is classified as a wind class IA site, with a high air density. By upgrading the energy system at the island, Antarctica New Zealand will be able to benefit more from these wind conditions and significantly increase the percentage of renewable energy in their total (and growing) energy demand.

Ross Island can only be reached during the summer season, which runs from November until March. This creates some logistic challenges for people and goods that need to be transported to and from the Island. A chartered vessel will transport the turbines to Ross Island, arriving February/March 2024, where the wind turbines will be stored at a lay-down area not too far from the site. The first wind turbine will be installed in November/December 2024, the other two about a year later in January/February 2026. Special precautions will be taken to make sure that the wind turbines are properly stored in the extreme weather conditions.

The EWT wind turbines will be a part of a large redevelopment program of Scott Base. All the existing facilities will be replaced by new facilities that will all be pre-constructed in New Zealand and transported to and installed at Ross Island. Since it will not be possible to pour concrete for the foundations at the site, the foundations for the wind turbines will be pre-constructed as so-called spider frame foundations, a combination of a large steel structure and pre-casted concrete blocks. The foundations will be shipped to the island and assembled at the site.

For more background information please visit the very informative website of our client, Antarctica New Zealand as well as their website for the Scott Base Redevelopment Program.