COLLETT & SONS SUCCESSFULLY TRANSPORTED THREE 145M WIND TURBINES, FEATURING 58.7M BLADES, TO MUIRHALL WIND FARM IN SOUTH LANARKSHIRE AFTER APPROVAL HAD BEEN GRANTED FOR PHASE 3 OF THE WIND FARM.
The three GE 2.75-120 turbines would be constructed from eighteen components. Collett had to facilitate their import and delivery from the port of Grangemouth.
Two years previously, in February 2014, Collett had delivered two Senvion turbines for phase 2 of the Muirhall extension. That had been the record for the largest onshore turbine blade: Collett were well-practised with the route from port to pad side. But the massive 63.35m overall loaded length meant their teams meticulously planned ahead. Collett Consulting provided Swept Path Analysis Reports and Route Access Surveys before undertaking a test drive of the route with a vehicle adapted to accurately reflect the loads’ dimensions. Liaising with several authorities, highways departments and constabularies, the route was agreed and adapted to accommodate the convoy. Safe passage included street furniture removal, relocation of signage and lamp-posts, pruning of foliage, third party land requirements, and, in places, the setting of track way. The tower sections would move freely along the route: but special measures were essential for safe delivery of the blades.
Cue the arrival of the ships. Handled by Collett’s Marine Division, two vessels were expected at the Port of Grangemouth. The first from Poland carried the nine turbine blades; the second, from Turkey, nine tower sections. When the vessels arrived, one by one each of the components were safely lifted from the vessel to an agreed laydown plan portside at Collett’s Grangemouth Heavy Lift Storage Facility. By using their 110Te straddle carrier and various cranes, each component was strategically positioned: to allow for ease of loading in line with the delivery schedule.
The hubs and nacelles for each turbine were located in Germany. This provided yet another logistical challenge, requiring expert co-ordination from Collett to ensure an orchestrated arrival of the components necessary for each complete turbine.
At the end of November, the first delivery to site set off. In order to minimise disruption – and due to the size of the cargoes and the route travelled – each convoy consisted of one tower section and one turbine blade. Accompanied by Collett’s Pilot Vehicles, and under Police Escort, the convoy manoeuvred through the villages of South Lanarkshire. After crossing splitter islands, employing contraflow measures and manual steering at key points throughout the route, all components arrived safely on site ready for construction.
To a 6-day week delivery schedule, these blade and tower delivery combinations safely made the journey from Grangemouth to site, arriving in synchronisation with the construction schedule.
Collett worked closely with the experienced Muirhall Wind Energy Team on both this and the previous phase 2 extension. In co-ordinating the arrival of components from three separate locations across Europe – with the extensive planning and execution of manoeuvring a 63.35m load – Collett are proud to have delivered the largest onshore turbine blade in the UK.
Muirhall Wind Farm phase 3 extension, also known as Muirhall South, is expected to be operational in March 2016. It will offset circa 10,848 tonnes of CO2 per annum, while supplying up to 5,773 homes with electricity over its 25-year lifetime.