Transporting wind turbines: how do they travel from wind energy factory to wind farm?

In the latest Wind Directions, we discuss how new transport equipment is constantly being designed to transport the up to 85 metre long blades and 200 tonne weight nacelles and towers. In fact, the transport can represent 10% of the delivery costs.

Recently, 13 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines had to be taken up a hillside road with eight kilometres of twisting bends to La Nogueria wind farm in Andalucia, Spain. The journey was planned a year in advance, and used four specialist vehicles brought all the way from Denmark. The steepness of the gradient meant that the vehicles often had to travel both backwards and forwards, steadily making progress a few metres at a time. Altogether, it took 153 trips to get the turbines up to the top.

Another complex issue is getting the permits needed to organise a journey requiring road closures or restricted traffic flows. The time needed varies across Europe from six months to just a few days, and the price of the permits vary widely. Moreover, in some countries you can only travel at night, in others, only during the day.

Sarah Azau,