Delivering 59 Turbines

21 January 2019

After being awarded its largest renewables project to date, Collett & Sons’s team began delivering Dorenell Wind Farm, near Dufftown, currently the largest Contract for Difference (CfD) project in the UK for onshore wind.

The job involved the transportation of all the components and ancillary equipment for 59 Vestas V90 turbines. The components arrived at the Port of Inverness from various countries including Spain, Italy, Denmark.

The Port of Inverness, having undergone considerable expansion offered the necessary facilities, including the addition of extensive laydown areas, increased storage capacity and a new entrance suitable for turbine components of up to 50m in length. As the wind farm is situated 80 miles away from the port, Collett’s team had to undertake extensive planning ahead of the arrival of the various components.

“The 80 mile journey from Port to pad site would take us through Inverness, Nairn, Forres, and Elgin before arriving at the Dorenell site entrance, and each section required detailed surveying to ensure each of the loaded components could navigate safely and unimpeded,” said Collett.

After its team had identified the appropriate loading arrangements for each cargo, based on the weight, width, height and length of the components, every aspect of the route was meticulously analysed to determine suitability. This included test drives, specialist swept path analysis reports and topographical surveys.

Utilising the data gathered and liaising closely with Moray & Aberdeenshire Councils, Scotland Transerv, Network Rail, Canal & River Trust and Bear Scotland allowed the company to identify and implement any modifications or route restrictions as required. This included street furniture removals, road widening, tree surgery, contraflow manoeuvres, manual steering requirements and structural stability restrictions.

With all this extensive planning firmly in place, all relevant authorities in agreement, permits approved and police escorts in position, Collett began the task of delivering the 531 components.

Equipped with three clamp trailers, six blade trailers, two six-axle step frames and its Code of Practice pilot cars the company began transport operations for each of the 44m blades, 72t nacelles, hubs, nose cones and top, middle and bottom tower sections.

Travelling throughout off peak hours in order to minimise disruption to other road users, each component made the 80 mile journey with Collett’s heavy transport teams employing manual steering operations and contraflow manoeuvres as outlined in the test drive and planning procedures.

Other structural requirements were also taken into account with regards to two bridges on approach to the site. As requested by Moray Council, when it came to these structures, only the loaded vehicle would be present when traversing whilst not exceeding 30mph to protect the stability of the structure.

Beginning in May 2018 and following the same procedure on each occasion, with the addition of a change of port to Aberdeen for the final components in order to avoid essential works on the A96, Collett delivered the project.

Spring forward six months and all components for the 59 turbines have been successfully delivered to Dorenell Wind Farm.