Residents of Loeriesfontein and the surrounding towns of Niewoudtville and Calvinia will once again be seeing wind turbine component sections en route from the Port of Ngqura, in Port Elizabeth, to Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
The wind farms commenced with the transportation of the various wind turbine components on 18 April 2016 and have made great progress with approximately 500 loads successfully delivered to site, before breaking for the school holiday period.
The projects will be expecting a further 750 loads to be delivered between 12 January and September 2017.
The 53m long wind turbine blades, tower sections, nacelles and hubs travel on the N10 via Uitenhage, Graaff-Reinet, Beaufort West, Three Sisters, and Carnarvon onto Loeriesfontein.
“The blades, towers, hubs and nacelles are transported a distance of around 1,158km and take approximately three days, travelling at maximum speed of 50 to 70km per hour,” explained Kevin Foster, Project Manager for Khobab Wind Farm.
Transportation is prohibited at night, during the school holiday period, on public holidays, during festivals or other special events.
In the towns of Graaff-Reinet and Beaufort West transportation will be avoided during peak traffic hours, as far as possible.
The wind farms’ websites include travel schedules to assist commuters. Foster continued, “whilst every effort is made to minimise traffic disruptions, we urge road users to exercise extra caution when close to the abnormal loads and obey all traffic management instructions; extra care should be taken if passing the vehicles as the total length is up to 57.5 m.”
Khobab and Loeriesfontein Wind Farms, which together span 6,653 hectares, will produce an impressive combined output of 280MW generated by their 122 wind turbines.
This is equivalent of 240,000 average households being powered each year, providing a massive boost to energy provision in the country.
The site was chosen because of its excellent wind resource, its proximity to national roads for wind turbine transportation and the favourable construction conditions.
Transport schedules can be viewed on the wind farms’ websites, www.loeriesfonteinwind.co.za and www.khobabwind.co.za. Advertisements in local newspapers will also assist commuters and travellers in their planning.