NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall says the first shipment of the huge wind turbine blades set for the $400 million White Rock Wind Farm near Glen Innes have arrived in Australia and are set to make a spectacular road convoy to their new home later next month.
Mr Marshall said the first 24 blades for eight turbines for White Rock arrived in the port of Newcastle on Friday night, the first for the port but the first of another eight shipments to come between now and May next year.
The turbine blades are the largest to arrive in Australia and measure nearly 60 metres in length and weigh about 10 tonnes each.
Three blades will be used on each turbine giving them a span of some 120metres in diameter.
“The first photos taken of the blades in Newcastle present a pretty spectacular sight – but when they go on the road to travel up the highway from there, I expect residents and motorists who see the convoy will be even more impressed,” Mr Marshall said.
“They’re pretty imposing. And Goldwind Australia, the developer of the farm, has plans too to allow locals to get pretty up close and personal to them when they do arrive in Glen Innes.
“I’m glad to say they’ve looked at having a public display of the turbines sometime after they arrive in the first load at a central point.
“I think the sight of the convoy of 10 truck loads in that first transport of the turbines will be an eye-opener for anyone who spots them coming up the highway from Newcastle.”
White Rock Wind Farm is being developed at a site about 20 kilometres west of Glen Innes and 40km from Inverell and has project approval for the operation of up to 119 wind turbines in addition to related infrastructure.
Mr Marshall said the project will be staged with 70 turbines in the first stage and the prospect of some 700 loads to come from Newcastle was pretty awesome for anyone.
Goldwind, through managing director John Titchen, said the blades actually measure 59.5 metres long and were manufactured for Goldwind by Sinomatech Wind Power Blade Company in China.
Mr Titchen said they would celebrate the milestone of the first deliveries with the local community by holding a blade viewing event in Glen Innes.
“We will be actively engaging with communities that are located alongside the haulage route in the lead up to the commencement of transportation of turbine components,” he said.
The contractor for the transport had considered the best possible route for oversize and over mass deliveries to site and they would work closely and carefully with the local community to minimise any impacts.
The 175 megawatt White Rock Wind Farm, currently under construction west of Glen Innes, will initially have 70, 2.5 megawatt turbines, but planning approval has been granted for 119 turbines. It will be capable of powering about 75,000 homes, and for a brief time after completion, will be the State’s largest wind farm – although Mr Marshall said it would be overtaken by the Sapphire wind farm which would be built later on at Inverell.
The shipment has created a number of records.
Port of Newcastle’s CEO, Geoff Crowe, said it would handle the 70 wind turbines for White Rock and the cargoes will be imported via the Mayfield 4 berth and stored on the Mayfield site before being transported via truck to Glen Innes. Unloading of the first shipment began on Saturday morning.