12 October 2017
Recent media coverage of a wind turbine blade shown via social media channels including You Tube has been made possible by work undertaken by our transport planning team in Edinburgh.
We were commissioned by Vestas to investigate the optimum solution for transporting V117 turbines from the port at Kyle of Lochalsh through to SSE’s Stronelairg wind farm near Fort Augustus, on the shore of Loch Ness. The turbines are moved in component form, with the turbine blades measuring 57m in length.
The route from port involves several tight turns, as well as quick trip onto the Island of Skye to allow the blades to be stored and turned, pending transport to site.
The video that has received acclaim from around the web shows a turbine blade turning onto Bunloyne Bridge at the junction of the A87 and A887. Our experts carefully examined this critical turn and built a highly accurate swept path assessment model to predict the track of the vehicle and its load. This was then used to predict the mitigation works at this and other locations. The trailer used was a Nooteboom Super Wing Carrier and the load bed has been raised to allow the body of the trailer and blade tip to over-sail the various obstructions, including the bridge parapet and an embankment. The video shows the extreme skill of the driver from MacFadyens Transport in making this turn using the alignment predicted by WYG.
Stronelairg wind farm features 53 V117 turbines and 13 smaller V112 turbines and is set to be the largest in the Highlands. Construction of the first nine turbines is ongoing, with the remainder set for construction next year following winter. When complete, the wind farm will be able to generate 240MW of clean power to the grid.
We also assisted the developer, SSE Renewables, with the design of the required off-site mitigation works to allow the blades to be transported from Kyle of Lochalsh and the other components from the port at Corpach, near Fort William. All the required services were undertaken from our Edinburgh office, with the deliveries illustrating the success of both commissions.
Gordon Buchan, WYG, Project Director, said: “The video shows the extreme skills of the driver required to enable these deliveries and it is great to see the loads going where we planned them to go. Stronelairg is a great project and we were delighted to assist Vestas and SSE achieve deliveries for this significant site.”
He added: "As turbine technology develops, we are now receiving orders for even longer blades, with the largest onshore blade instructions now considering blades up to 78m in length. Our transport planning business is growing across the North of the UK and this is a great example of the diverse range of projects that WYG are able to undertake."