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Close to the wind  

Credit:  By CERENA PRIEST - Waikato Times, www.stuff.co.nz 22 September 2010 ~~

A massive wind turbine blade for the Te Uku windfarm battled strong westerlies as it was inched slowly over the Raglan Deviation yesterday.

PETER DRURY/Waikato Times

Carried on the aptly named Blade-runner truck, the 49m-long blade was hauled to what will be the country’s most northern wind farm, near Raglan.

It is the first of 84 blades to arrive from Denmark.

From the top of the deviation, Raglan resident Jim Ardern waited patiently as the truck negotiated the winding road.

“I have seen pictures of the blades, but it is not the same as being here,” he said. “This is quite impressive.”

The blade took 15 minutes to descend the deviation.

The Huntly pedestrian overbridge was removed to accommodate the over-sized load and vegetation alongside the deviation was cleared after three trial runs with a “dummy” blade highlighted concerns.

Wind farm project manager Robert Batters said the blade’s arrival at the Auckland port and its journey to Te Uku was a significant achievement for the $230 million project. “When you spend two years on a project getting the site prepared and ready to received the components, today’s delivery makes it a very special day for the team,” he said.

“Watching it arrive is quite surreal. Especially standing here at the deviation because I am Waikato born and bred. I remember travelling over this hill with my grandparents and I’m working with the guys I went to school with.”

As well as the blades, 84 tower sections and 28 cells will be transported to the wind farm site before December. The two-year joint project between Wel Networks and Meridian Energy will generate 64.4MW when completed in March.

Source:  By CERENA PRIEST - Waikato Times, www.stuff.co.nz 22 September 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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