Wind energy in New Zealand – Wind farm turbines arrive in Dunedin

The first shipment of wind turbines components for Trustpower’s 36 MW Lammerlaw Range wind farm has arrived in Dunedin. ”All the foundations are in and waiting for the tubes to arrive. The bottom tube is attached by a flange and then a crane lifts the top two tubes into position,” TrustPower community relations manager Graeme Purches said.

”The wind turbines don’t arrive at Port Chalmers until January 25. The really big bits are the nacelle, which is 83 tonnes and as big as a bus, and the 45m-long turbine blades,” he said.

”The first wind turbine is expected to be producing wind power in late February and the whole thing will be functional by April.”

TrustPower has resource consent for a 200 MW wind farm, but at this stage is building a smaller-size farm to supply the local network, because it says the cost of transmission charges to supply the national grid is too high.

A TrustPower open day will be held from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, February 5, in Fryatt St, when the public will be welcome to inspect the wind turbine components, Mr Purches said.

Early-bird commuters from Mosgiel to Dunedin may face some disruption in the new year when the 12 Danish-built wind turbines are transported in 96 loads to the site, inland from Lake Mahinerangi.

New Zealand Transport Agency coastal Otago area manager Roger Bailey said State Highway 1’s northbound lane between Dunedin’s Lookout Point and the Mosgiel off-ramp would close for short periods to allow the trucks, which were up to 48m long including the load, to avoid the roundabout at the Mosgiel off-ramp.

From January 6 to February 28, trucks will cart different components of the wind turbines, travelling at less than 60kmh. The trucks were permitted by resource consent to enter Mahinerangi Rd no earlier than 7am.

Mr Bailey said the 9km stretch of State Highway 1 would close up to 25 minutes a time, but for shorter periods at the Dunedin end as the road reopened progressively.

Up to three vehicles in convoy would take loads, accompanied by pilot vehicles. Mr Bailey said disruption to other road users should be minimal; few vehicles used the road that early in the morning, and alternative routes such as Three Mile Hill Rd were options if people did not want to wait.

As part of its resource consent, TrustPower has placed public notices warning people to expect ”minor inconvenience”. It is expected on some non-state highway roads the trucks will need both lanes to manoeuvre around corners and bends.