Blade runner: Collett & Sons delivers largest onshore turbines17 February 2016

Heavy haulage specialist Collett & Sons has played a pivotal role in a project to deliver the largest onshore turbine blade in the UK – part of a delivery to the Muirfield wind farm, in Lanarkshire.

The Halifax-based operator moved three 145m wind turbines, with 58.7m blades, in a three-month project which completed last month.

Collett dealt with the import and delivery of a total of 18 components from the Port of Grangemouth – when constructed, they form three GE 2.75-120 145m wind turbines.

Having delivered two Senvion turbines for phase two of the Muirhall extension in February 2014, Collett had experience of traversing the route. But, due to the 58.7m length of the phase three blades, and the 63.35m overall loaded length, meticulous planning was required for the latest project.

To ensure suitability of the route, Collett Consulting analysed reports and route surveys before undertaking a test drive of the route with a vehicle adapted to accurately reflect the loaded vehicle dimensions. This highlighted the need for street furniture removal, relocation of signage and lamp posts, pruning of foliage, third party land requirements and certain sections where the placing of track way would be necessary.

These measures were essential for safe delivery of the blades, as was agreement with authorities, highways departments and constabularies.

When the ships arrived at Grangemouth, the components were safely lifted from the vessel to an agreed lay-down plan portside at Collett’s Grangemouth heavy lift storage facility. The loads remained here until the construction project was ready to accept them.

The first delivery to Muirfield left at the end of November. Each convoy consisted of one tower section and one turbine blade, and was accompanied by Collett’s pilot vehicles and under police escort.

Muirhall Wind Farm phase three extension – also known as Muirhall South – is expected to be operational in March 2016 and will offset circa 10,848 tonnes of CO2 per annum while supplying up to 5,773 homes with electricity over its 25-year lifetime.

Laura Cork

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