Building Switzerland’s second-largest wind farm
16 October 2023
Switzerland’s Emil Egger used two Liebherr crawlers to erect the country’s second-largest wind farm, on the Jura mountains in the canton of Vaud, near the French border.
Work was completed in eight weeks using an LR 11000 and an LR 1700-1.0 and entailed the installation of six turbines standing almost 140 metres tall.
The turbines, manufactured by Enercon, are expected to produce 22 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, adding vital clean power to the Swiss national energy grid.
St. Gallen-based Emil Egger sent its two most powerful hoisting units to work in the hilly terrain, at an altitude of 1,200 metres.
Crane operator Peter Stricker equipped his machine with a 114 metre-long main boom to be able to handle the greatest assembling heights of around 100 metres.
“The heaviest load cases on this construction site occur during the lifts of the generators,” he said. “Together with the hook block and slings, I have a gross weight of 71 tonnes hanging from my LR 11000.”
With a gross weight of 65 tonnes, the 40 metre-long rotor blades were somewhat lighter. These were mounted to the hub on the ground to form complete blade stars, then lifted and installed. With a special device, these huge components could be swivelled into a vertical position during the lifting process.
In parallel with the 1,000 tonne crawler crane, an LR 1700-1.0 completed the erection of other wind turbines a few kilometres away. On the 99 metre main boom, a 12 metre jib angled at 10 degrees provided sufficient lifting height.
Emil Egger also has an LR 1250 from the Liebherr factory in Nenzing, Austria, among its fleet.
“All the crawler cranes in our fleet are from Liebherr,” said managing director Michael Egger. “We rely completely on the Liebherr brand for crawler crane technology because these modern machines are extremely practical and user-friendly. The machines are simply state of the art.”
The new turbine installation, which will have a total output capacity of 13.8 megawatt-hours, forms a key part of Switzerland’s eco ambitions, where wind energy is still in its infancy and hydropower remains the primary source of electricity generation.