Wind Turbine Components in Transit Again
Residents of Noupoort, Graaff-Reinet and the surrounding areas will once again be seeing wind turbine component sections en route to Noupoort Wind Farm. Another 165 loads will be making their way to the wind farm between 12 January and the end of March 2016. More than 150 of the 315 abnormal loads were successfully transported between mid-October and early-December last year, before being halted for the school holiday period.
The various components of the wind turbines will be transported along three routes, travelling a total distance of over 200 000km. “Now that the holiday season has ended we will re-commence with transporting the components until the end of the first school term in mid-March,” 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 Middelburg.
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. “We would like commuters to remember that 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.