Swinerton Renewable Energy: October 23, 2015
Swinerton Renewable Energy’s SOLV Technicians Certified for Wind Turbine Rescues
San Diego, California: In late September, Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) led a Wind Turbine and Rescue Training course to certify their SOLV® technicians and local Search and Rescue Teams.
The course was held at one of the nation’s only wind/solar hybrid utility-scale sites, SRE’s recently completed Red Horse 2 Wind Farm near Willcox, Arizona. This site will generate 55 MW AC of solar power while the 15 Vestas Turbines will supply another 30 MW AC from wind. SOLV has a 10-year contract to perform Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services, developing a master plant controller for the separate wind and solar plant controllers.
Since OSHA standards do not permit the use of 911 as the first line of defense, the team created a rescue plan to have an internal method to get workers down from towers safely. Many of the first responders in the rural area are run by volunteer fire departments that do not have the equipment or training to perform rescues on wind turbines; to do so puts their rescuers at risk and might endanger the injured party even further. As a result, SRE trained their SOLV employees to be able to perform these rescues independent of outside sources so they could safely perform self-rescue.
The course was taught by SRE Senior Safety Manager Michael Darling, a nationally-certified Wind Turbine Rescue Trainer. In addition to training their own Red Horse SOLV team, SRE contacted the Cochise County and Pima County Sherriff’s offices, and 12 members from their Search and Rescue Team took part. Michael Darling, says, “This training is a reflection of Swinerton's management team, who are willing to invest in these things. That is unique in the construction industry, because a lot of people simply pass this type of training off. But we don’t, and I really appreciate working for a team like this.”
A three-day, eight-hour a day course, the program involved a classroom session, hands-on warehouse training, and onsite in-turbine training. Most of the training involved simulated rescues, with lessons on fall protection, rope management, and rappelling. These exercises included self-rescue, assisted rescues, fallen-line rescues, and ladder rescues. With only a few thousand people nationally certified to perform wind tower rescues—along with their own Wind Tower Rescue Trainer on staff—SRE’s SOLV team is an industry leader with this unique skillset that is included in their O&M package.
About Swinerton: Swinerton Renewable Energy offers engineering, procurement, construction, and SOLV® services for solar photovoltaic plants throughout North America to a diverse range of clients. Over 125 years of building landmark projects, Swinerton has forged a reputation for unsurpassed safety, workmanship, on-time delivery, and customer satisfaction. Today, our team takes pride in building cost-effective solar systems that will generate reliable, clean power for many years to come. SRE has delivered over 650 MW solar projects and our SOLV team manages over 1 GW of PV plants.