North Island Midweek

Giant windmill blades arrive

Dwain Ehret from transportation company Totran beside the first wind turbine blade to arrive in Port Hardy for the Cape Scott Windfarm project.  - Photo by A. O’Toole
Dwain Ehret from transportation company Totran beside the first wind turbine blade to arrive in Port Hardy for the Cape Scott Windfarm project.
— image credit: Photo by A. O’Toole

The first gigantic wind turbine components destined for the Knob Hill wind farm site have arrived in Port Hardy.

The 4,500-hectare site at Knob Hill was initially selected by Seabreeze Power Corp. after an extensive research project and a call from BC Hydro for suppliers of green energy. International Power ( IPR-GDF Suez) then bought phase one of the site after striking a deal with BC Hydro to supply them with 99mW, enough power to supply 30,000 homes. Seabreeze retains the phase two portion of the site with the option for future development.

The power will be manufactured by 55 turbines, each of which has three 50-metre blades.

The first blade came from Nanaimo to Port Hardy last week on a purpose-built rig. The transport, 185 feet in length, has steerable rear wheels hydraulically connected to the cab to allow the massive trailer to negotiate corners.

Each of the wind turbines will be transported north in eight pieces — three tower segments, three blades, a hub and the nacelle, which houses the generating components.

Because the transportation is necessarily oversized to haul such massive components, the bulk of the runs will take place overnight, so as to cause minimum disruption to traffic.

The components will be stored at a purpose-cleared staging area in Port Hardy while roads to the wind farm site are completed.

The wind farm, the first such large-scale wind farm on Vancouver Island, is scheduled to begin commercial operations in July of 2013 and is contracted to provide power to BC Hydro for 20 years.

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