Abengoa Solar Field
Situation: Ram Jack has been involved in the renewable energy world by providing helical foundations for solar and wind applications over the past several years. In 2010, a Spanish company, Abengoa, reached out to Ram Jack to procure a foundation solution for the Solana Solar Plant they would be implementing in southern Arizona. The foundations had to be custom engineered to meet the challenges of changing soil conditions in the arid southwest desert. The field where the installation would take place had been developed as an irrigated alfalfa field for many years and as the field was now empty the moisture content of the soil began to decrease. Because of this ongoing change in soil density, several months of independent tests were performed to properly identify the most accurate solution. Based on the overall project schedule, maintaining a fast-paced installation process would be required to hit the target completion date for what would be the largest solar collector field in the world.
Solution: Straightline Construction, a Ram Jack Dealer that also specializes in micro piles was the perfect candidate to perform the solar field installations. With soil density testing complete, a series of engineering meetings led to an approved T-shaped pile cap and sleeve design. The custom design was embedded into an open-hole micro pile to meet the strict load tolerances along with the aggressive installation rate of up to 680 piles per day in 40+ blow count soil conditions. Ram Jack’s engineering and support staff played an integral role in product design and proof pile load testing to ensure a smooth project completion. Nearly 71,000 piles were installed during an 11-month period in 2011. The overall installation was completed two months ahead of schedule.
Conclusion: The Solana Solar Plant is now nearing completion on 2,300 acres near Gila Bend, Arizona, which will provide energy to power over 70,000 homes. Ram Jack is extremely proud and appreciative for the opportunity provided by Abengoa, a dominant innovator and contributor to green energy development and its affiliate companies (Teyma and Abencs, now Abensia). Abengoa, Teyma, and Abencs were all extraordinarily professional and provided a remarkable work environment for our installation crews. Due to the success of this project, Ram Jack has developed an ongoing relationship with Abengoa that has allowed us to take on additional projects and hopefully many more in the future. The T-shaped caps were produced at the Ram Jack Headquarters and Manufacturing center in Ada, Oklahoma. Installation was performed by Straightline Construction, a Ram Jack Dealer with three locations including: Albuquerque, NM, Pueblo West and Denver, CO.
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