Energy Resource Development

Westlake is committed to supporting the alternative and traditional energy industries. Our civil engineers, surveyors and planners appreciate that constructability, timely performance, and cost management, are critical for project success. We have the depth of design and development experience necessary to support large energy development projects throughout the United States.

To help clients assemble teams to meet the full range of project needs, Westlake helps identify qualified consultants and then scopse and coordinates their efforts to meet traffic, geotechnical engineering, cultural resource, air quality, noise, environmental, wetlands, and planning requirements. For clients located outside our geographic area, we are available to lead project teams, providing a high level of project management and client coordination. 

Sample clients include BP Wind Energy, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Resources, Columbia Energy Partners, Seawest, EnXco, NW Natural, SolarWorld and Solaicx (now MEMC).

Project Types and Services

Wind Energy Development

Westlake has been involved in wind energy site development for many years, beginning with one of Oregon’s first commercial wind projects in the Gilliam County town of Condon, completed in 2002. To date, Westlake has assisted in the development of 1400 Megawatts of wind power. Together, our engineers and surveyors support project planning, design, and construction of this exciting energy alternative. Westlake has worked on wind energy projects throughout Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, California, Texas, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Wind Energy: Civil Engineering

Our experience with difficult and remote sites, joined with our knowledge of construction economics, enables us to support our clients at every stage of planning and design. We tailor our site design to each project’s needs. For example, where terrain is challenging, preliminary evaluation helps identify access route alternatives. For other sites, wetlands or cultural resources might constrain access.

Working with our clients and contractors, we carefully develop design criteria for temporary and permanent grading for the access and string roads, tower foundations, and for the crane pads, O&M facilities, and laydown areas. These criteria must reflect the specific and constantly evolving design of towers, turbines and delivery vehicles.

We offer a range of civil engineering services for design and construction.

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Sherbino Mesa II

Pecos County, Texas

Westlake provided the civil engineering design for Sherbino Mesa II, and is currently providing construction administration services to owner BP Wind Energy.

Located on 20,000 acres, the project will utilize 60 wind turbines, each rated for a capacity of 2.5 MW. It is expected to be in operation by the end of 2011.

Antelope Ridge Wind Development

Union County, Oregon

Faced with challenges including the site’s 2300’ elevation change and issues with wetlands and utility conflicts, Westlake prepared access road designs to support wetlands impact analysis and development of alternative alignments. Following selection of the preferred solutions, we prepared Energy Facility Siting Council and US Army Corps of Engineers permit submittals. Our exhibits showed impacts to 25 distinct wetland areas.

Wind Energy: Surveying

Westlake offers surveying for site analysis and design, land leases and construction. This may vary from support to establish a lease boundary, to identification of easement and utility conflicts (above and below ground or in the air). Westlake coordinates services for aerial mapping, supplementing it as necessary. We also prepare ALTA surveys to meet requirements for financing.

Westlake tailors our surveying services to meet our client’s specific needs:

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Golden Hills Wind Development

Sherman County, Oregon

Westlake is providing full service project surveying services for planning, design, and ownership/financing for the Golden Hills wind development. This has involved coordination of wetland and natural/cultural resource consultants, and aerial mapping sub-consultants, in addition to our surveying efforts. We have provided staking for road alignment and turbine placement, as well as cadastral surveying for lease boundary resolution and ALTA surveying.

Echanis Wind Development

Harney County, California

A creative approach was required to provide access to the windy eastern ridge of Steens Mountain, which is nearly 3000’ in elevation from the desert floor. After establishing site control with GPS, Westlake set two dozen of the aerial mapping control points in one day using a helicopter for access, with the remaining points set in two days using ATV’s. The aerial mapping covered an estimated 50,000 acres.

Wind Energy: Permitting Assistance

Westlake supports our wind development clients by identifying which permits and specific submittal requirements are necessary. This can include requirements from local agencies, as well as permitting for NPDES erosion control, Soil Conservation District Terraces and access onto State and County roadways. 

We understand that key to successful permitting is a realistic, critical-path schedule to track the progress of each permit application. Our strong existing relationships and continued interaction with agency staff help to facilitate timely permit review and problem solving.

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Rattlesnake Road and Wheatfield Wind Development

Gilliam County, Oregon

Westlake’s civil engineering efforts focused on roadway alignment, pad grading and final design of the turbine string roads. Through the micro-siting walks, we were able to identify conflicts with design criteria. We then refined the plan and profile design and road grading construction documents in order to obtain NPDES permits.

Saddle Mountain East Wind Development

Adams County, Washington

For East Saddle Mountain in east central Washington, we provided assistance to Horizon Wind Energy in two phases: first in support of the County Conditional Use Permit review for facility siting, and then to assist in resolving irrigation system piping impacts and land owner issues.

Wind Energy: Customized Project Management

Our project management approach is tailored to the needs of each client, the structure of their organization, and their location. Westlake understands that this type of fast track project often changes from inception through construction, and we expect multiple deadlines. Westlake’s consistent communication and record-keeping allow us to support our clients in maintaining a smooth path to project completion.

Westlake offers leadership and a “local presence” for projects in the northwest that involve a national or international team of developers, owners, and consultants. For projects which involve local teams, a narrower focus may be appropriate. By discussing needs and expectations, we define our role and services and establish a schedule for successful collaboration.

Westlake is small enough to provide a high level of Principal involvement, yet large enough to meet the needs of large scale projects with tight time-lines. Our staff has the necessary experience and technical expertise, efficiently using the best technological tools for civil design and surveying.

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Addressing Wind Energy Transportation Issues

Locations throughout the United States

Westlake works with wind energy developers to determine suitability of selected areas related to access and terrain challenges. Transporting the components for a wind turbine (generator, blades and tower) is extremely challenging due to load length and weight. The finished total weight of a typical wind turbine is approximately 500,000 pounds.

Bent Tree Wind Development

Kern County, California

Horizon Wind Energy asked Westlake civil engineering staff to assist with analysis of site access feasibility and alignments, and to recommend possible alternatives. Our role focused on providing site analysis and preliminary layout for an area under consideration for potential inclusion in the development. The site in question featured steep terrain and drainage crossings, and covered more than 950 acres.

Solar Manufacturing

Westlake offers services for solar manufacturing and high-tech industrial site development, including planning, surveying, civil engineering design and construction support.

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Hillsboro, Oregon

For SolarWorld, Westlake has provided a wide array of surveying, scanning and as-builting for the Hillsboro facility, including production area as-building and building grid layout.  Westlake has extensive experience with this type of clean room environment.

Solaicx (now MEMC)

Portland, Oregon

For Solaicx (which was acquired by MEMC in 2010), Westlake has provided facility development support, including as-builting for tool installation. The Portland manufacturing  facility produces mono-crystalline silicon ingots and wafers using a continuos crystal growth method.

Energy Transmission

Westlake surveyors have served on multi-disciplinary teams to support pipeline and transmission line projects traversing over 100 miles including highway, mountain and river crossings. We meet the needs for data, mapping, and property descriptions to support land or easement acquisition.

For fast-track construction of small, to very large projects, we provide staking and perform real-time as-builting to Federal standards and requirements.

For transmission corridors, Westlake engineers consider client goals and the design and permitting      criteria of review agencies. We evaluate routes, develop alternatives and assess construction costs to meet the needs of our utility clients. From the earliest stages of project planning, through design and construction, we collaborate with the project team to ensure our client’s goals are met.

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NW Natural - Mist to Molalla Natural Gas Pipeline

Washington, Marion and Clackamas Counties, Oregon

Under contract to Wilbanks and NW Natural, Westlake provided surveying for sections of the 60 mile long 24” natural gas pipeline. For Stage I, Westlake provided survey control and mapping to help determine the alignment for 30 miles. For Stage II, Westlake completed detailed footline and right-of-way/boundary surveying for the entire 60 miles. We used both GPS and conventional surveying methods.

Westlake also completed construction staking and as-builting for the southerly 12 miles. For the remainder of the 60-mile pipeline,  Westlake provided staking, as-builting (to federal standards), and monument perpetuation.

Golden Hills Wind Development

Sherman County, Oregon

Westlake completed construction staking for 11 miles of 500 KV transmission line for BP Alternative Energy. After this 30,000 acre project was granted siting approval, the owner was eager for surveying and engineering work to move swiftly, in part due to limitations created by winter weather conditions. Westlake met this challenge with an aggressive effort to complete surveying tasks ahead of the proposed schedule.

Please consider Westlake your resource for planning, engineering and surveying, and contact us today at 503.684.0652 or