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August 6, 2020

Wind blades unloaded along the Columbia are nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty

  • The turbines will be part of a large wind farm in Saskatchewan.
  • Port of Vancouver USA photo [enlarge]
    The big blades await transport to Canada at the port’s laydown areas near the Columbia River.

    The Port of Vancouver USA last month received a shipment of wind turbine components that it says included the longest blades to enter the U.S. West Coast.

    The shipment was coordinated by turbine manufacturer Goldwind Americas and wind project owner Potentia Renewables. It consisted of four wind turbines including blades, nacelles, generators, hubs, tower sections and other sub-components. The blades are about 250 feet long, nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

    “Wind manufacturers have kept us busy this spring and summer moving wind energy components,” said port CEO Julianna Marler in a news release. “We couldn't do this work without incredible partnerships with companies like Goldwind, as well as ILWU Local 4, Local 40, Local 92, and the river and bar pilots who are still at work every day moving cargo.”

    The recent load from China was delivered by the MV Star Kilimanjaro, which also carried a set of 220-foot-long blades. The shipment joins other turbine blades stored at terminals 2 and 5 for transport later this year to Potentia's Golden South wind energy project in Canada. Totran Transportation Services will move the equipment.

    Each turbine has a permanent magnet direct-drive generator that can produce 4.2 megawatts.

    Potentia is a Toronto-based developer, owner and operator of solar and wind farms. The Golden South farm will generate about 900,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. The project broke ground in 2019 and is expected to open next year on 34,000 acres of leased agricultural land in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.

    The Port of Vancouver USA will eventually handle a total of 50 turbine systems for the Golden South farm, with four additional ships arriving later this summer and fall. In total, Goldwind will import over 750 large-scale components through the port with the help of Jones Stevedoring and G2 Ocean, which operates the Kilimanjaro.

    Goldwind Americas CEO David Sale said, “The arrival of Goldwind's 76-meter wind turbine blades to our shores signifies an important next step in wind power technology in North America. As a result of our expanding portfolio of wind turbines, Goldwind is able to maximize project economics with larger, scalable technologies to fit an array of wind projects. Leading the industry in delivering turbines of this size presents many new challenges, which must be met with a great deal of planning and expertise.”

    Chicago-based Goldwind Americas is the North American subsidiary of Beijing-based Goldwind. It operates 26 wind farms across nine U.S. states, Canada and Panama. Globally, Goldwind has about 35,000 wind turbines operating in 24 countries on six continents. In total, these turbines generate about 60 gigawatts.

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