Barrick Gold’s Veladero wind turbine has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the highest altitude wind generator in the world. Located at 4,110 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains, the $8.5 million wind turbine supplies up to 20 per cent of the total electricity needed to power Veladero mine operations.
Guinness World Records representative Mike Janela presented a certificate to Barrick Gold at a joint ceremony held by the company and the provincial government in San Juan, Argentina. The 229-ton structure stands at just over 60 meters high and is one of the largest wind turbines manufactured today. The turbine was the first of its kind to be tested to endure extreme cold, heavy snowfall and high winds, which top 222 kilometers per hour.
Barrick Gold teamed with the British firm Seawind and German manufacturer DeWind to design and build the turbine. The generator design was modified to compensate for lower air density and is an international pilot project to test equipment at high altitude. It took nearly a month to assemble the massive turbine and link it to the electrical network of the Veladero mine, where it has been generating power since December 2007.
Congratulating the company, Janela stated, “What struck me most after the ceremony was just how much pride the government and Barrick took in this generator, and how much interest and curiosity the local population held in the record.” This marks the first world record for Argentina in the mining sector. Barrick currently holds a Guinness World Record as “the largest gold production company.”
Renewables: Barrick Gold’s total investment in clean energy projects is $88.5 million, including the $8.5 million wind turbine at Veladero, a $10 million solar power project in Nevada and a $70 million wind farm, currently under construction in the Coquimbo region of Chile near the company’s Pascua-Lama project.