Unique Access Solution Required at Pennsylvania's Largest Wind Farm

American Energy Inc. (AEI), general contractor, required an access solution to add spacers to prevent three 2,000-ft. conductor lines that spanned the valley at Mehoopany Wind, Noxen, PA, from coming in contact with one another and with surrounding vegetation. Typically accessed by helicopter, obstructions in the environment prevented aerial access and demanded a unique access alternative.

Spider, a division of SafeWorks, LLC, provided a complete suspended access solution for the installation of the spacers at the wind farm. The full design/build solution included a 30-ft swingstage equipped with custom rollers that enabled the platform to travel along the conductor. The SC1000 traction hoists were removed from the platform and instead installed at the base of the tower to reduce the platform’s total live load. Multi-tier suspended scaffold ladders were added to both ends of the platforms and suspended from the rigging trolleys to enable workers to climb to access the two outer conductors. Four sets of 1,500-ft. wire rope were successfully managed while the platform traveled in both directions.

In addition, Spider designed and installed a fall protection system that allowed for self-rescue from a height of up to 450-ft. above the ground. Hoists that allowed for primary and secondary wire ropes enabled the workers to tie-off to an engineered anchor point on the overhead rigging beam, successfully meeting the strict fall protection and self-rescue requirements.

Finally, the company provided user training and onsite supervision to ensure this five-day project was completed successfully, on time, within budget and without incident.

“Spider’s execution on this project was exceptional,” commented DJ Frame, project manager with AEI. “They responded to each and every unique challenge with expertise and timeliness, often working after hours to ensure all engineering requirements were met safely and on time. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”

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