Port of Vancouver receives shipment of longest wind blades

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The Port of Vancouver USA recently received a shipment of nine wind turbines including the longest wind turbine blades it has handled to date. The delivery is a joint effort between the turbine manufacturer Goldwind and the wind project owner Potentia Renewables.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the port continues to operate to keep the supply chain and commodities moving,” said CEO Julianna Marler. “The port has proven our unique ability to handle these types of large projects. Customers know our heavy lift mobile cranes, acres of laydown space, highly-skilled workforce, and dedication to renewable energy make the Port of Vancouver the perfect port for receiving wind energy components.”

“During an extremely trying time globally, we are grateful for our partners including ILWU Local 4, Local 40, Local 92, river and bar pilots who are still at work making it possible for us to handle this cargo,” said Chief Commercial Officer Alex Strogen. “We also thank Jones Stevedoring, Totran Transportation Services and the ship MV Star Kilimanjaro operated by G2 Ocean. Their talented staff and crews, expertise, and hard work are integral to the port’s continued commercial success.”

The blades for Goldwind’s GW136/4.2 MW turbines, each 67 meters in length (220 feet), were manufactured in and shipped from China. Goldwind Americas, the company’s North American subsidiary headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, specializes in the sales, supply, operations, and maintenance of Goldwind’s Permanent Magnet Direct Drive (PMDD) wind-turbine generators. Globally Goldwind has 60 GW, approximately 35,000 wind-turbine units, operating in 24 countries on six continents.

The MV Star Kilimanjaro delivers 27 wind turbine blades and other components for a wind project in Canada. (Courtesy: Port of Vancouver USA)

“Goldwind Americas is pleased to be working with the Port of Vancouver USA with their expertise in the receiving and movement of large-scale wind-turbine components, which now includes our 4S MW model blades,” said David Sale, CEO of Goldwind Americas. “Goldwind’s expanding portfolio of turbines continues to push the technology envelope and define what is possible in the wind industry. This allows our customers to maximize project economics with larger turbine nameplate designs and rotor diameters.”

The wind-turbine blades and components will travel to Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Canada, to Potentia’s Golden South Wind Energy Project on 34,000 acres of leased-agricultural land. Potentia is a Toronto-based developer, owner and operator of solar and wind energy assets. The Golden South Wind Project will use Goldwind’s latest PMDD turbines and will generate approximately 900,000 MW/h of electricity and will significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared to a coal-fired plant. The carbon reduction is equivalent to eliminating the pollution from half the vehicles in Regina or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The project broke ground in 2019 and is expected to open in 2021.

“We are very excited to see the project progress from the current preparatory construction efforts to the arrival of the wind turbine equipment at the site this summer,” said Jeff Jenner, chief executive officer of Potentia Renewables Inc. “We thank everyone at the port and others involved in the transportation and handling of this equipment for their efforts during these unusual times.”

Once unloaded from the ship, the wind turbine blades (27 in total) and components will be moved to laydown space at the port’s Terminal 2 and Terminal 5. From there, they will be transported by Totran Transportation Services over the span of 21 weeks to Saskatchewan, Canada.

The port will eventually handle 50 full turbines, a combination of the GW 136/4.2 and GW 155/4.2 MW models, moving through the port bound for the Golden South Wind Project. A complete turbine includes three blades, nacelle, generator, hub, five to six tower sections, and other sub-components. Additional ships carrying turbines will arrive later this summer including blades measuring 76.2 meters (250 feet) — which will be the longest blades ever imported into any port in North America.

The Port of Vancouver USA has long been a leader in the port industry in supporting renewable energy projects and is one of the West Coast leaders in the movement of wind energy components to support new and existing wind energy projects.

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