Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in South Africa, has announced that it will begin transporting wind turbines from the Port of Ngqura to the wind farm site from 22 July 2013. This marks an exciting milestone in the construction of this wind farm, which is expected to supply enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 114 116 South African homes and avoid more than 420,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
The various components of the wind turbines will be transported along two different routes, from the Port of Ngqura to the site, situated between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp. “Our team is committed to making every effort to minimise traffic disruptions during this period and appreciates the public’s patience and understanding,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Trucks with oversized trailers will vary in size, of up to 50m in length, and will start transporting wind turbine components from the Port of Ngqura to Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm during the early morning of Tuesday 22 July. From then until the end of January 2014, regular deliveries will be made, Mondays to Fridays, throughout the day. Due to regulations, deliveries will not be made over weekends or on public holidays, or at night. “There may be exceptional circumstances, where prior notification will be given to transport over a weekend,” explained Pickering.
Commuters travelling along the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay may be affected by the oversized loads, which are scheduled to leave the port between 06:00 and 12:00. A second route will be used to transport components through Motherwell, along the R334, past Despatch and Uitenhague, joining the N2 at the Blue Horizon Bay Exit and travelling along the N2 to Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp. Transport schedules will be made available to the public from 22 July via the wind farm’s website, and adverts that will be run in local newspapers to assist commuters in their planning. Drivers are urged to be cautious and adhere to traffic regulations. “We are working in close consultation with the Eastern Cape Department of Traffic, who have been instrumental in helping us plan,” explained Pickering.
All loads will travel to Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm as single consignments, except through Port Elizabeth where there will be a police escort for the larger components that will travel together to reduce disruption in the city.
“Due to the length of the transportation vehicles, we urge other road users not overtake, unless in a passing lane or dual carriageway,” added Pickering. In preparation for the turbine transportation programme, the construction team has already made modifications to the N2 highway to accommodate the large turning radius of the abnormal loads.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will comprise 60 turbines on a site spanning 3 700 ha. The site was chosen for its optimal wind conditions and minimal environmental constraints, as well as its close proximity to a 132 kV Eskom grid line. The project is one of the first wind farms arising from the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP). With demand for electricity continuing to grow in South Africa, the introduction of this clean energy will have far reaching benefits for the country’s power sector, economy and people.
The wind farm is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by mid-2014. “Not only will the project be able to provide a significant number of homes with clean, renewable energy by harnessing a free source of energy, it will also save millions of litres of water that would otherwise have been consumed in the production of energy,” concluded Pickering.