Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain: world's largest wooden structure

An engineered wood alternative to steel support structures

There are many factors that make high-tech wood particularly appealing as an alternative to steel support towers for the wind energy sector:

  • Wood is a green building material and offers significant environmental benefits;
  • Combining BC’s world-class wind resource with BC’s world-class forest resource provides a tremendous socio-economic opportunity for forestry-dependent communities and First Nations throughout BC;
  • BC is spearheading adoption in North America of high-tech engineered wood products;
  • A 100-metre wind turbine support tower, designed using engineered wood, has already been certified for use in Europe, by a third-party certification agency;
  • Wood turbine support towers provide logistical benefits because they are easier to transport to remote locations and can be assembled more quickly using smaller cranes and less skilled labour; and
  • Due to the characteristics of wood, these towers will be corrosion resistant and may be able to preserve turbine bearing life by better absorbing vibrations.

Advantages of engineered wood support structures

When all of these factors are considered, they make a compelling case that wood towers will be very competitive with steel, for marketing not only in Canada but also in developing countries and sites that are hard to reach such as mountain tops and offshore. All this can be achieved while reducing the carbon footprint of all wind turbines. CTS will establish the manufacturing of an engineered wood wind turbine support structure industry in BC.