Mounted on the Mountain

All eyes in the “green” world were on the wind generator that Leitwind (www.leitwind.com) has mounted on Grouse Mountain, Canada, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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The Eye of the Wind is the imposing wind turbine inaugurated in February just before the games began.

The region’s first commercially viable wind turbine features minimal noise and no gears,  a symbol of Grouse Mountain Resorts’ commitment to sustainability and alternative energy innovation.

Technology provider, Leitwind Technology, part of Italy’s Leitner Technologies Group (www.leitnergroup.com),  has been a developer of high-performance technology in ropeways and snow groomers since 1888. “It was an outstanding team effort starting from design, to manufacturing, through installation that made this dream come true,” said Leitwind CEO Anton Seeber, “a unique MW-class turbine on top of Grouse Mountain.”

{mosimage} According to Stuart McLaughlin, CEO and president, Grouse Mountain Resorts (www.grousemountain.com), “Our sustainability revolution began two decades ago and, since then, we have pursued alternative power sources to become more energy self-sufficient. The Eye of the Wind will inspire visitors who ascend Vancouver’s most celebrated peak each year to return home to begin a ‘Quiet Revolution’ of their own.”

Elements of The Eye were secured from 10 countries across four continents. The structural assembly was completed in the fall of 2009. Lifting more than 290 tons of components was a massive undertaking to erect the three tower sections, hub, generator, nacelle, viewPOD and three blades. The turbine is the only one of its kind equipped with an elevator to access a panoramic viewPOD, for a close-up view of wind energy at work.

The privately funded structure changes the face of alternative energy in British Columbia.

It can produce 1.5 MW of energy, which is expected to offset up to 25 percent of Grouse Mountain’s operational electricity needs annually.

Leitner Technologies employs more than 2,000 people worldwide at plants in Italy, France, India and North America, as well as at 70 sales and service points. For a decade, continuous research and development and a high degree of technological competence have permitted the company to take advantage of synergies between ropeway and wind turbine technologies. This machine is an integration of a direct-drive generator into a wind turbine. In 2003, Leitner installed its first wind turbine prototypes with the technology and began serial production of turbines in 2007.

Leitwind president Michael Seeber explains, “Leitwind brought a 1.5 MW LTW77 to Canada. It is 65 meters (213 feet) high and capable of producing two million kilowatt-hours per year. The facility is on a mountain peak and is equipped with a platform for up to 36 people, with a beautiful view of Vancouver and the mountains to the north. With this wind power installation, a trademark of the ‘green’ Olympic city, worldwide attention will be drawn to us.”

Leitwind
www.leitwind.com

Leitner Technologies Group
www.leitnergroup.com

Grouse Mountain Resorts
www.grousemountain.com
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