Massive wind turbine blades have begun their 200km journey to the site of what will be Western Australia’s largest wind farm, the 214MW Yandin project being developed by Alinta Energy and Ratch Australia in the state’s mid-west.
The turbine blades, which are just under 75 metres long and weigh 24 tonnes, are being transported one per truck, with a convoy of three trucks delivering the blades for one turbine at a time.
Given the project will ultimately have a total of 51 Vestas turbines, getting all of the blades from the port at Henderson in the state’s south to the wind farm site in the Shire of Dandaraga will be a slow and complex process.
“These are the biggest wind turbine blades to ever be transported by road in Western Australia,” said Alinta Energy’s head of construction Timothy Knill.
“Most people have no concept of just how big these things are, and therefore how tricky it can be to get them from a port to site.
“A 747 aeroplane generally has a wingspan of about 65 metres, and these wind turbine blades are just under 75 metres.
“Or to put it another way, imagine transporting a blade which is longer than the wingspan of a 747 along roads that were never designed for such a massive load and now you’re closer to understanding the scale and complexity of this effort.”
Once the blades have been safely delivered, however, the process of getting the wind turbines up and running becomes a good deal more streamlined.
“Once we get them to site and mobilise our cranes, the process of piecing each turbine together will only take days, not weeks,” Knill said.
As RenewEconomy reported last year, work on the Yandin project kicked off as far back as 2012, with the initial planning permit granted to project developer Wind Prospect, before Alinta acquired the development rights to the project in 2016.
Alinta announced in February 2019 that it had made the final investment decision to proceed with the project, which will mark the energy company’s first direct investment in the development of a renewable energy project.
Knill says construction of the wind farm is on track, and due to commence operating in the third quarter of this year.