Energy / First turbine blades expected on the roads in three weeks

Turbine blades arriving on board the BBC Belem. Photo: Jessica Laurenson (Peterson UK)

THE FIRST Viking Energy turbine blades – which measure nearly 60 metres in length – are set to hit the road in around three weeks’ time.

It comes after a successful first convoy of wind turbine parts this morning (Monday) between Lerwick and the wind farm site in the Central Mainland, heading into the west entrance at Sandwater.

The delivery of a nacelle cover unit, hub and drive train only took around 30 minutes, with three lorries, two police vehicles and a couple of escort vans involved.

But the transit time is expected to increase when the longer blades, and tower parts, are sent on their journey from Lerwick.

Speaking this morning, lead project manager for turbine manufacturer Vestas Robert Yeates said the first convoy – which is coordinated by the police – went exactly to plan.

He said there was one moment where a build-up of traffic was allowed to overtake.


Up to three convoys are set to take place a day, Monday to Saturday inclusive until July.

Meanwhile Yeates confirmed the locations of where the various parts were manufactured.

The nacelle and drive train hubs were made in China, whilst towers were manufactured in Spain and the blades in Italy. They were all taken to Shetland by boat.

Yeates said the first tower parts will head along the A970 in tomorrow’s (Tuesday) convoys.

When asked about why deliveries could not take overnight, he said the preference from the police is to undertake the coveys in daylight where possible.

“The decision ultimately lies with the police, when they feel comfortable, so they prefer to do it during daytime hours as much as possible,” he said.

The lorries meanwhile which will be used for the blades will have a turning axle at the back.

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SSE Renewables’ Viking Energy stakeholder manager Aaron Priest said Monday’s first delivery was a “huge milestone for the project, and everybody is absolutely delighted that it’s gone so smoothly and to plan”.

“The discussions with the police, the council, the planning that’s gone into it and the handling and logistics at the port here from Peterson’s – everything has gone very well to plan,” he said.

Priest said the team was “extremely grateful” for the planning which had gone into the process, and thanked the public for their patience – adding that there is contingency built in to cater for the weather.

He said the project has created jobs at logistics company Peterson, while it is thought there are 15 to 20 people involved in the convoys directly, including drivers and those unloading the parts.

On site, work will begin on erecting tower parts first – with the first completed turbine due to be completed in April. All 103 are set to be installed this year.

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