General Electric Wind Energy (GEWE), a major, international wind technology provider, has selected the SPOT Gen3 safety device from Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd. (GESS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT).
The SPOT Gen3 safety device will be deployed to track and protect GEWE workers as they install, operate and maintain onshore wind power installations in emerging markets across EMEA and Asia. Globalstar’s value added reseller, Crambo Wireless S.A., initially provided GEWE with more than 70 SPOT Gen3 devices to safeguard crews working at wind power installations in Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among other locations.
As GEWE expands into new territories, the company will deploy SPOT Gen3 devices to protect its workers in Ghana, Kenya, and elsewhere in Africa, as well as Central Europe and the Balkans. By mid-2017, GEWE personnel working at approximately 70 wind farms in EMEA and Asia are expected to have enhanced safety thanks to SPOT.
Any major construction project comes with operational hazards. Additionally, when crews are deployed to areas of political instability or conflict, the need to provide them with a reliable communications and safety lifeline becomes even more critical. This is especially the case when operating in remote regions which are hard to access and/or with minimal communications infrastructure.
GEWE selected SPOT Gen3 because the company needed a communication solution with the best possible coverage and reliability, and with the greatest ease of use for staff, particularly when faced with a crisis situation. In the event of an emergency, SPOT instantly sends the user’s GPS co-ordinates to alert first responders through the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre (IERCC). Following a period of extensive testing, GEWE determined that SPOT, the Globalstar network and the IERCC performed flawlessly.
According to GESS, GEWE considered a number of alternative technologies, including GSM, parabolic antennas and radio repeaters prior to opting for SPOT Gen3 due to the unit's reliability and ubiquitous reach. The S.O.S. button was also of particular importance for GEWE. GEWE has worked with SPOT for over five years using SPOT Trace devices in Spain, Sweden, Ireland and the UK to track and protect personnel and contractors as they transit between wind power sites, accommodation and airports.
As GE Wind Energy develops new sites in EMEA and Asia, SPOT will provide operations and security teams with a complete picture of each crew’s location in almost real-time as they traverse remote terrain—sometimes with the assistance of security teams and escorts—to and from wind installations.
Carlos Chivite Trincado, Onshore Wind Energy Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Leader at General Electric Wind Energy, a role in which he has specific responsibility for developing new markets, indicated that his company's wind installations can be in the middle of the desert, such as in Pakistan and Morocco, or they can be positioned high in the mountains or on the coast, all areas where GSM might not reach. The staff sometimes works in very challenging circumstances; wherever they are, GEWE needs to know they are safe and are connected as well as remain confident in workers’ security before undertaking any new wind energy development. SPOT is an important part of GE’s abiding commitment to providing the best possible safety and working conditions for the firm's valuable crews.