Fox Coulee solar farm by GOLDBECK SOLAR

Powering Progress: GeoVerra and GOLDBECK SOLAR Illuminate Success on Neoen’s Fox Coulée Solar Farm

Project Overview

Building a thriving energy hub to fuel global goals and tens of thousands of families began with a blank canvas just north of the Drumheller airport.

Neoen’s 94 MW solar farm is set to power over 20,000 homes in Starland County, Alberta. Connecting to ATCO Electric’s distribution network, the project will support Alberta’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2035—reducing 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Together, GOLDBECK SOLAR and GeoVerra have been instrumental in making this vision a reality.

GOLDBECK SOLAR was selected as a turnkey contractor for the construction of Fox Coulée. Serving as the EPC Company (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), the firm has been engaged from the initial engineering stages of the project and throughout all subsequent phases. This encompasses activities ranging from initiating road construction to overseeing the commissioning of the plant. GOLDBECK SOLAR has played an indispensable role in every aspect of the construction process.

Supporting the project’s land surveying needs, GeoVerra has been the geomatics provider to the project throughout its construction. Their team played a crucial role in the early stages of the project, establishing secure boundaries, storage areas, and roads, and further went on to successfully manage the surveying of trenching for electrical cables spanning over 30 kilometers, connecting solar arrays to combiner boxes and inverters.

The solar panels installed at Fox Coulee are affixed atop a racking system supported by helical screw piles. “A significant portion of the project involved laying out this foundation, with over 23,000 solar piles secured into the ground, each and every location carefully pinpointed,” explains Thomas Kranjcevic, Geoverra’s Project Manager and ALS. “As they were installed, we verified each location, using a template to measure the top of the pile and let the client know if it meets their tolerances.”

 

 

 

Why GOLDBECK SOLAR?

GOLDBECK SOLAR was deemed the ideal choice for the Fox Coulée project due to their teams unmatched qualifications and capabilities that made them the best fit for the endeavor. Constantin Lindenmeyer, CEO of GOLDBECK SOLAR North America, acknowledges the company’s suitability, stating, “We are honoured to have been selected as turnkey contractor for the construction of Fox Coulée , and it is also a testament to our expertise, innovation, and commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Foremost, GOLDBECK SOLAR’s extensive proficiency and 13-year history in executing solar energy projects across North America positioned them as the most qualified candidate for the task at hand. Boasting a proven portfolio of over 2.5 GW in operational installations worldwide, they bring a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to the Fox Coulée project, ensuring its success from inception to completion.

Crucially, GOLDBECK SOLAR’s reputation for delivering high-quality work within specified timelines made them stand out among competitors. In the domain of project management, meeting milestones is paramount, and their company’s ability to consistently adhere to deadlines ensured project efficiency and client satisfaction.

Their established network of subcontractors and field technicians further solidified their suitability for the project. This network not only bolstered capacity to handle various aspects of the project efficiently but also ensured seamless coordination and execution.

Why GeoVerra?

While GeoVerra is relatively new in name, their experience and history is not. The geomatics company brings over 110 years of expertise and over 600 industry experts via legacy companies. Their many years and variety of experience sets them apart during challenging projects, “especially in key areas such as earthworks, piling, and infrastructure—core aspects of solar development,” says Kranjcevic.

GeoVerra’s team of surveyors, project managers, field crews, CAD specialists, natural resource professionals, and so many others provide responsive, efficient, and custom solutions to a wide range of industries. They bring deep-rooted experience and advanced technologies to deliver powerful data that drive even the biggest projects forward with speed and efficiency.

On the topic of advanced technologies, an extra edge lies in GeoVerra’s top-of-the-line equipment, like the Trimble R12i GNSS receiver, a staple for all field crews. “It helps us conduct surveys faster and more accurately, thanks to features like the built-in IMU that minimizes wind interference,” says Kranjcevic.

Most of all, strength lies in being adaptable. “We bring a solid workforce to the table, capable of handling ever-changing project needs quickly and efficiently,” he says. “When unexpected needs arise, like a sudden demand for more manpower, we’re lightning fast in responding and mobilizing a crew.” GeoVerra takes pride in their work and values clear communication, and Fox Coulée showcased a smooth exchange of insights from the field to the core team.

Working Together: GOLDBECK SOLAR x GeoVerra

The seamless collaboration between GOLDBECK SOLAR and GeoVerra is integral to the success of Fox Coulée construction endeavors. GOLDBECK SOLAR relies heavily on GeoVerra to provide precise survey data necessary for various construction activities, including civil works, foundation works, and quality assurance and control measures. This partnership enhances both the quality and efficiency of the projects undertaken. Moreover, the data obtained by GeoVerra in the field serves a dual purpose, not only aiding in construction tasks but also playing a crucial role in fulfilling contractual documentation requirements outlined by the client. Together, GOLDBECK SOLAR and GeoVerra form a cohesive team, ensuring that projects progress smoothly and meet the highest standards of quality and precision.

Primary Services Provided by GOLDBECK SOLAR

  • Civil works: This involves tasks such as road construction, pad construction, stormwater management, grading, and foundation installation.
  • Mechanical: Activities include foundation alignment, Nextracker racking installation, and module installation.
  • Electrical: While GOLDBECK SOLAR subcontracts a significant portion of our electrical work, they maintain a dedicated team of Journeyman Electricians to ensure adherence to quality standards consistent with industry norms.
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control: These functions are integral to the GOLDBECK SOLAR team, guaranteeing either meeting or exceeding the expectations established by the solar industry.

Primary Services Provided by GeoVerra

  • Original ground topographic surveys.
  • Buried utility locating.
  • Machine control establishment and support for grading operations.
  • Layout and as-built of earthworks (roads, trenching, and grading).
  • Layout and as-built of piles (solar array foundations, inverters, and combiner boxes, etc.).
  • Pile cut and cap support for inverters, the O&M building, and E-house piles.

About GOLDBECK SOLAR

GOLDBECK SOLAR is an international company specializing in the turnkey construction of commercial, industrial and utility-scale photovoltaic systems. With 23 years of experience, we cover the entire value chain from project development, construction, operations and maintenance of the plant to direct sales of clean energy. Since 2011 our North American subsidiary offers expertise in engineering and constructing exceptional photovoltaic systems suited to North America’s technical and environmental conditions.

About GeoVerra

GeoVerra is one of the country’s largest geomatics firms with offices across Western Canada and Ontario, providing land surveying, forestry, and geospatial solutions to clients in diverse industries. As a team of industry experts, we are committed to exceeding expectations providing responsive, trustworthy service with a solutions-oriented approach. That’s our partnership promise.

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