Communities are Growing used to Wind Turbine Components in Transit
Residents of Noupoort, Graaff-Reinet and the surrounding areas have grown accustomed to seeing wind turbine component sections en route to Noupoort Wind Farm. More than 100 of the 315 abnormal loads have already successfully made their way to the wind farm with 160 loads expected before the end of the year, when transportation will be halted for the school holiday period.
The various components of the wind turbines are being transported along three routes, travelling a distance of 208 000km between October 2015 and March 2015. “Commuters and residents have commented on the sheer size of the trailers, especially the wind turbine blades which are 53m long,” said Martina Flanagan, Project Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm.
The turbine tower sections, ranging in size from 17m to 29m, are being routed along the N1 via the towns of Wolseley, Worcester, Riebeeck Kasteel, Riebeeck West, Laingsburg and Beaufort West. The 53m long wind turbine blades are being routed along the N9 via Cookhouse, Cradock and Middleburg. The wind turbine nacelle and hub sections will travel on the N10 via Uitenhage, Graaff-Reinet and Middleburg.
Commuters travelling along the N1, N9 and N10 may be affected by the oversized loads; drivers have been advised to be cautious and adhere to traffic regulations. Transport schedules are available to the public via the wind farm’s website, www.noupoortwind.co.za.
All loads travel to site as single consignments with a rear escort at all times. “The turbine blades have both a front and rear escort in addition to a police escort,” explained Flanagan. Escorts provide warning to third party road users of the oncoming abnormal transport and are an important safety measure.
Noupoort Wind Farm is expected to supply enough green electricity to power approximately 70 000 average South African homes and avoid roughly 300 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.