MAY 8, 2020 - CALGARY, AB: The Lafarge Canada Portable Operations team has secured the supply of concrete to wind energy projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta. From Pincher Creek, AB to Grenfell, SK, the Portable Operations team, in conjunction with the Western Canada Technical and Development Centre, has been instrumental to ensuring these renewable energy projects are supplied with concrete designed to meet LafargeHolcim’s Sustainability goals.
Each of the project’s 50 wind tower turbines are founded on a 420 m3 base to support the 110 m (360 ft) tower structure. The “Mass Concrete” specifications for the Golden South Wind Facility in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan required the concrete mix to achieve the 35MPa and 45MPa strengths in 28-days, without the concrete exceeding a core temperature of 70°C. The challenge of developing mixes to achieve consistent high strengths while meeting a tight “heat of hydration” specification was accepted by the technical group, while focusing on opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete supply portion of the project.
Existing mixes used in previous wind power facilities had a very narrow range of cementing materials able to achieve the strength requirements without exceeding the temperature limits. Using that experience, a comparison between the heat generated by ordinary GU cement and a lower-carbon GUL cement were compared.
In addition, new admixtures which helped achieve the strengths became available, and were used in the testing and trials for the revised mixes. Between the change in cement and the new admixtures, the project mixes realized a significant reduction of 41.4 kg/m3 of CO2 emissions from the mixes produced for the project. Over the length of the Golden South project, this amounts to 1,035 tonnes of CO2 reduction. This is equivalent to removing 225 gasoline-powered cars from our roads annually!
Through innovative materials such as Portland-Limestone cement and Master X-Seed 55 admixture, LafargeHolcim’s Portable Operations team and the Technical and Development Centre was able to ensure the future of green energy bears on a solid base of environmentally-conscious concrete materials, providing energy and reducing pollution as these projects are built.