September 3 - Bigge Crane & Rigging has rented its new Manitowoc MLC650 crawler to Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES) for the erection of wind turbines at the Pleasant Valley wind farm in the US state of Minnesota.

The MLC650 crane, featuring Manitowoc's innovative variable position counterweight (VPC) system, is being used by RES to erect 18 turbines at the farm, which will have a generating capacity of 200 MW on its completion in late 2015.

On site the crane is configured with 341 ft (103.9 m) of main boom, 24.9 ft (7.5 m) of extended upper boom, and 295 tonnes of counterweight.

The crawler crane is being used to lift prefabricated wind tower sections and nacelles in loads weighing up to 107 tonnes, as well as 11-tonne blades, which are being lifted to heights of up to 295 ft (89.9 m).

When the MLC650 has completed the Pleasant Valley project later this year, Bigge will take the crane to Ardmore, Oklahoma, where it will work on a similar wind farm project for RES.

HLPFI reported that Bigge had invested in the new 650-tonne capacity MLC650 model in June 2015, with this wind energy project marking the Manitowoc crane's debut job.