February 2 - Collett Transport has delivered three 145 m high wind turbines from the UK Port of Grangemouth to the Muirhall onshore wind farm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The three GE 2.75-120 turbines were shipped into Grangemouth in 18 components, including nine 58.7 m long wind turbine blades - which Collett claims are the UK's longest onshore wind turbine blades.
The first vessel arrived from Poland carrying the blades, while the second came from Turkey with the nine turbine tower sections. Collett coordinated the unloading of each component onto a laydown area at its Grangemouth heavy lift storage facility.
Using its 110-tonne capacity straddle carrier and other lifting equipment, the components were positioned at the site according to a specific laydown plan in order to facilitate the delivery of the units.
The cargo remained on site until the wind farm was ready to receive the components. The hubs and nacelles for each turbine were also shipped into Grangemouth from Germany, ready for transport.
Due to the length of the nine blades, the overland transport to the site required meticulous planning, explained Collett. The company completed a number of reports and surveys, before taking a test drive of the route with a vehicle that was adapted to accurately reflect the loaded vehicle's dimensions.
The survey found a number of obstacles en route that needed to be amended before the delivery could begin. This included the removal of street furniture; relocation of signs and lamp posts; pruning of foliage; third party land requirements; and certain sections of the route where it would be necessary to lay down tracks.
After obtaining permission from the relevant authorities to proceed with the transport, the deliveries could begin. Each convoy included one tower section and one turbine blade, which were accompanied by Collett's pilot vehicles and a police escort.
The trailers had to navigate small Scottish villages, as well as cope with contraflow manoeuvres and manual steering at points en route, said Collett.
All the components were finally delivered to the Muirhall site, where they will be installed. The Muirhall wind farm's phase 3 extension is expected to be operational by March 2016 and will supply up to 5,773 homes with electricity over its 25-year lifetime.