Canada

Canada

CONFERENCE TOUR OF LOCAL SUCCESS

Participants at the 1994 CanWEA conference toured the manufacturing facilities of the family owned wind power firm, Dutch Industries Ltd of Regina to see the special measures taken with regard to cold climate obstacles in relation to tower anchorage and turbine function.

Unlike many Saskatchewan companies who cater exclusively to traditional resource industries, conference sponsor Dutch Industries Ltd of Regina is positioning itself as a key Canadian player in wind energy generation and wind driven water pumping.

CanWEA conference attendees toured the Regina area manufacturing facilities of the family owned firm, which was established in Canada from the Netherlands in 1952. Dutch Industries employs 160 and has an annual turnover of about $19 million. The firm produces components for the variable speed 18/80 Lagerwey wind turbine under license from the Netherlands' Lagerwey company. In 1992-93 it installed Lagerweys at Kincardine for Canadian Agra Corporation and at the Atlantic Wind Test Site (AWTS) on Prince Edward Island.

Dutch Industries became an independent power producer when its 18/80 entered operation on September 23 in the Inuit village of Cambridge Bay, above the Arctic Circle on Victoria Island in Canada's Northwest Territories (NWT). The Science Institute of the NWT, the Atlantic Wind Test Site, and Natural Resources Canada supported the project. The turbine is connected to the village diesel system and displaces subsidised but still high cost electricity valued at $0.38/kWh.

To withstand the severe cold the turbine was installed with an anchor platform buried in gravel just above the Arctic permafrost, with heaters on the generator gearbox, and sophisticated controls in a heated shed. Four wind turbines at the site supplied by Carter of the US before it folded, were decommissioned two years ago due to mechanical and electrical difficulties. Dutch Industries believes the modified Lagerwey is better suited to the exacting climate and extreme winter temperatures, but faces a critical test this winter at expected temperatures of minus 60 degrees Celsius. Energy production is expected of 200,000 kWh/year at an average 35 kW/hour. The turbine generated 12,240 kWh in its first 20 days of operation.

The firm is also the exclusive manufacturer of the Canadian designed Dutch Delta 16 wind powered water pumper and has distributed about 100 of these to remote North American and Third World locations. Several Deltas have been installed in the drought-stricken Sahel region of west Africa, where they are designed to pump water from acquifers below 30 metres or more in depth. The company will sell the wind mills only to customers with local maintenance capabilities. Dutch Industries President Izaak Cruson says: "We are committed to helping achieve the economic production of food and water to nourish the nations of the world, and in the process to save energy and conserve ever-diminishing precious resources."

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