Wind and Solar Farm Projects A Gateway to Renewable Energy Future

Wind farm in Texas with six active turbines in open prairie showing recent growth of wind energy industry

Wind Energy is Blowing Across the Country

Renewable energy projects are underway at thousands of locations around the US and Canada. The major technologies in the renewable energy sector are solar, including rooftop and utility-scale farms, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. All four are receiving interest and investment, with new projects spread around the country, encouraged by a number of states’ Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). These require increased use of carbon-free energy sources by utilities and corporations over time. Right now, the market for renewable energy stands at $64 billion, and it is increasing quickly as more players come on board and climate change becomes a more urgent priority.

While wind farms have been in the news when coastal residents denied them because they ruin the view from their seaside homes, wind power installations are going strong, particularly in the interior of the US where windy plains states offer plenty of open land for wind turbines to stand tall and contribute energy to the power grid. The AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) reported that the wind power project pipeline in the US is on a path to grow by 40% in the near term, representing a record-breaking 39 thousand megawatts of new wind projects. There are 199 projects, dispersed over 32 states, with the largest expansions happening in Texas (8,500 MW) and Wyoming (4,780 MW).

Solar Farm Installation Projects Spreading Rapidly

Large solar farm in rural area with panels across the landscape and a power processing facility feeding the energy grid representing growth of large scale solar energy production

Small and large scale solar has made significant progress in the last decade. With better technology and lower cost for photovoltaic (PV) cell technology, investment in solar energy is on the rise. Photovoltaic solar is used widely on home rooftops and on solar farms large and small, converting sunlight to electricity using semiconductor cells arrayed on solar panels.

Thermal solar farms, such as our neighbor, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (virtual tour) in the Mojave Desert at the California-Nevada border, provide heat-generated energy using large, focused mirrors that concentrate the sun’s heat in towers where it is converted into electricity. As of the first quarter of 2019, solar in the US provided enough energy for 12.7 million homes.

Large scale, utility-level solar, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of acres of land, is quickly becoming a significant source of power for a nation seeking alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels. Solar panels offer flexibility, because they can be installed virtually anywhere and hooked into the energy grid. They are especially attractive in rural areas where land can be converted to invest in small or large scale solar projects.

Tension Fabric Structures Provide Solar and Wind Farm Project Shelter

canvas structure for sporting events tension fabric structure

One factor that almost all large scale energy projects have in common is that the projects are located largely in rural, undeveloped or less developed locations, where infrastructure, including buildings and shelters, is inconveniently located or not available. Whether it is a solar project or wind turbine installation, having an onsite shelter increases productivity and capacity to move the project forward by providing space for personnel, and for storing inventory, equipment and vehicles at the site, protecting them from the elements and providing round the clock facilities for higher productivity.

Versatile Fabric Structures Aid Solar and Wind Construction Projects and Operations

Clear span and high clearance, tension fabric structures (TFS) provide ample and versatile open floor indoor space in sizes adjustable to project needs. Supported by a modular, sturdy, light-weight extruded aluminum frame, these structures are easy to transport to the project site and quickly installed. They operate like traditional structures and can be wired for electricity. They accommodate HVAC systems and come with several ventilation options. They are energy efficient, with the white exterior reflecting solar radiation in hot climates.

These highly engineered buildings can be installed in remote areas, and on any surface, including wet, frozen or rocky ground, with a number of anchoring methods available. When project teams just need a warm, dry and wind-free place to work, the TFS is a perfect solution that stands up to strong winds, meeting local wind code requirements for temporary and long term use.  

Allsite tension fabric structures are sturdy, durable and reliable. The building’s aluminum frame is rust and corrosion resistant with an indefinite life and needing little maintenance, so it can be used for a single project, or disassembled and moved to new sites as new projects come on line. The PVC fabric is UV and weather-resistant, as well as anti-bacterial and mold resistant. The highly-tensioned rounded structure sheds snow and rain easily, perfect for use in remote and extreme weather areas.

Tension fabric buildings at the site can add convenient, protected indoor space during installation of solar or wind facilities, providing a hub for project activities. They can be adapted to many needs in the field, including personnel work or rest areas, storage space for inventory, tools and other equipment, use as manufacturing and assembly facilities, for housing vehicles, or even as hangar space for aircraft. After construction is complete, they can remain on site as maintenance and repair facilities, for parts and equipment storage or for other uses, or returned at the end of the project. Structures can be resized at any time, made smaller or larger by removing or adding panels to change the length of the structure. 

Allsite Structure Rentals

Allsite engineers work closely with our client team to deliver the best building solution for your project needs. For more information on lease or purchase of a tension fabric structure for your renewable energy or construction project, contact Allsite today at 888-599-5112.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is Allsite's Director of Business Development, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at https://allsitestructures.com/about/

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