Plans to bring power to NC remain on track

2017-01-25 06:02
One of several wind turbine components being transported from the Port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth to the Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms in the Northern Cape. A further 750 loads are expected to be delivered to the wind farms between January and September this year.  Photo: Supplied

One of several wind turbine components being transported from the Port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth to the Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms in the Northern Cape. A further 750 loads are expected to be delivered to the wind farms between January and September this year. Photo: Supplied

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Residents of Loeriesfontein and the surrounding towns of Niewoudtville and Calvinia will once again see wind turbine component sections en route from the Port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth to the Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms.

The wind farms commenced with the transportation of the various wind turbine components last year on 18 April and have made great progress, with approximately 500 loads successfully delivered to site, before breaking for the school holiday period.

The projects expect a further 750 loads to be delivered between January and September 2017.

The 53 m long wind turbine blades, tower sections, nacelles and hubs travel on the N10 via Uitenhage, Graaff-Rei­net, Beaufort West, Three Sisters and Carnarvon to Loeriesfontein.

“The blades, towers, hubs and nacelles are transported over a distance of around 1 158 km and this takes approximately three days, with vehicles travelling at a maximum speed of 50 km to 70 km per hour,” says Kevin Foster, project manager for the Khobab wind farm.

Transportation is prohibited at night, during the school holiday period, on public holidays, during festivals or other special events. In Graaff-Reinet and Beaufort West, transportation will be avoided during peak traffic hours.

The wind farms’ websites include travel schedules to assist commuters.

“While 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,” Foster says.

The Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms, which together span 6 653 ha, will produce a combined output of 280 MW, generated by their 122 wind turbines. This is equivalent to 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, at www.loeriesfonteinwind.co.za and www.khobabwind.co.za.

Advertisements in local newspapers will also assist commuters and travellers in their planning.

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