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Gulf Winds Renewable-Construction Opens Its Doors

Fri September 30, 2011 - Southeast Edition
Mary Reed


Samir Benaskeurs, GWRC’s IT administrator, designed the GWRC logo and is responsible for Web sites and creativity.
Samir Benaskeurs, GWRC’s IT administrator, designed the GWRC logo and is responsible for Web sites and creativity.
Samir Benaskeurs, GWRC’s IT administrator, designed the GWRC logo and is responsible for Web sites and creativity. Photo courtesy of  Scott Battles
The humble windmill in the foreground, backed by the new generation

It’s an ill wind that proverbially blows no one any good, but in the case of certain forms of renewable energy quite the opposite applies.

Gulf Winds Renewable-Construction LLC (GWRC), an international company specializing in renewable energy projects with the motto, “Building together for a greener, healthier tomorrow” recognizes this fact, for the company logo features an “l” in the shape of a green turbine tower.

Established in September 2011 by Nancy C. Caralla in New Port Richey, Fla., and headquartered in that city, its satellite offices are located in Durham, N.C., and Genova, Italy, with additional branches opening overseas in 2012.

“There is no doubt that throughout the world other sources of energy are needed. Solar and wind, two natural sources, are available and easily harvested to produce clean energy for every country,” said International Sales & Marketing Director Caralla. “Through research and developments in the industry, wind (i.e., GE, Vestas, Siemens, Suzlon, Gold Wind, Enercon) and solar manufacturers (i.e., SpectraWatt, Suntech, Yingli, LDK Solar Co, JA Solar) are available to meet every area and terrain worldwide.

“Gulf Winds Renewable-Construction brings with it many exciting new ideas, new adventures and many positive upcoming projects in the renewable energy sector worldwide,” Caralla continued. “European offshore wind farms have been in existence for nearly 20 years and have proven ability to grow over the years, producing clean energy to reduce energy demands. We have witnessed the same positive results in many countries developing onshore wind farms too. With today’s economy, wind and solar energy projects demonstrate continued growth potential and with the crane and construction industry slowing, international wind and solar energy construction has remained viable, allowing GWRC to work in the best of both industries.”

Overseas Operation

The company’s Italian office in Genova is managed by International Sales Engineer Massamiliano Lazzari, and through his professional experience and contacts with professional associates in other countries, GWRC has been able to view and monitor future wind energy projects for both onshore and offshore wind farms. As part of this international effort, Lazzari is currently making contacts with a Swiss utility company developing wind farms in Italy. In addition, company personnel will be attending an April 2012 event organized by the European Wind Energy Association (www.ewea.org) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here at home GWRC staff are attending networking events offered by the American Wind Energy Association (www.awea.org) and related wind gatherings.

Caralla acknowledged “the success of any good company is in the team and I appreciate everyone’s skills, talents, knowledge and backgrounds.”

In doing so, she welcomed International Energy Engineer Syed Mohammad Zakiur Raheman, who will be managing GWRC’s new European branch next year, noting his expertise and background in construction management and utility energy management.

“Scott Battles is our International Consulting Engineer (Renewable Energy/Wind), whose knowledge and solid professional background in the renewable/wind energy industry is greatly appreciated by everyone,” she went on.

“Samir Benaskeurs, our IT administrator, designed the GWRC logo and is responsible for Web sites and creativity, while International Sales Engineer Charles M. Hersh joins us with his solid background in operations management and is a key team player in our International Sales Division. Another key team player is Anthony DelMonaco, consulting in the bidding and logistics for upcoming projects. Tracey Kelly, operating engineer and future wind technology/technician, joins GWRC with more than twenty years of professional crane operations, safety, and construction knowledge, while moving ahead in the wind technology/technician profession.”

Cranes and Wind

Crane operations are of particular importance in this industry, as Caralla pointed out.

“Over the years many crane manufacturers have researched and developed specific guidelines and attachments to safely assemble the wind turbines for onshore and offshore wind farms. The weights for each wind turbine are provided by each manufacturer for their model and will ensure safety in placing the correct cranes on any given project,” she said.

In Caralla’s experience, the most common manufacturers of crawler crane models used in the wind industry today are:

• Manitowoc 2250 – 300 ton (272 t)

• Manitowoc 16000 – 440 ton (399 t)

• Manitowoc 18000 – 825 ton (748 t)

• Liebherr LR1300 – 330 ton (299 t)

• Liebherr LR1600/2 - 660 ton (598 t)

• Link Belt 548 – 500 ton (453 t)

• Terex/Demag CC2800 – 660 ton (599 t)

All of these models are available for rental with assistance from GWRC.

With more than 30 year’s combined experience in the crane industry, GWRC is able to offer construction management professionals and contractors the necessary cranes to assemble and erect wind turbines in upcoming onshore wind farm projects. The company is able to provide short- and long-term crane rentals manned or unmanned, crane sales, transportation and logistics of wind turbines. It also is currently working with other countries in developing renewable energy sources and projects to reduce power- and energy-strained areas and bring those countries future savings, along with increased safety training for their wind professionals.

With regard to this last service, Caralla stated that skills and experience in customer service, various heavy lift cranes, working with engineering, and understanding site preparation in the construction industry are very beneficial.

“We believe it is beneficial for construction professionals to have a minimum of OSHA 10 safety training for both sides of the fence — that is, in the crane industry and the wind industry,” she stated. “Tracey Kelly and I are in the class of 2012 at the Pinnacle Training Institute (www.pcitraining.edu) in Kansas City, Mo., for the Wind Technology/Wind Technician certification course. This education will provide us with additional knowledge and skills for working in this great industry and the ability to join wind professionals worldwide.”

With regard to the renewable energy industry, Caralla sees it as “a field that embraces women with skills, knowledge and confidence to provide quality service during each project, while sharing responsibilities with co-workers. The passion for gentle giants, environmental friendly sources of energy, and great heights in small spaces make for an adventurous career path in the wind technician profession.”

Caralla and Kelly are both members of the Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) organization (side bar) and Kelly will be assisting Caralla with the founding of the WoWE’s North Carolina chapter, which is expected to start up at the beginning of 2012.

As a new company, GWRC is connecting and networking with wind contractors and companies world-wide and beginning to bid on upcoming domestic and international onshore wind farm projects. It is already working on military renewable energy projects, and will be attending the Federal Contractors Conference in Wilmington, N.C., in October 2011.

Summing up, Caralla stated “Gulf Wind Renewable-Construction is able to deliver quality service, knowledge and understanding of wind turbines and wind farms, while working with crane and construction. We offer safety plus quality service, resulting in positive results, and look forward to working with developers of utility-scaled wind farms worldwide.”

For more information, send e-mail to gulfwindsrenewable@yahoo.com. CEG