Siemens Energy puts wind blades on U.S. rails
Siemens Energy shipped its first set of 42 wind turbine blades March 4 from a new rail yard at its Fort Madison, Iowa, plant.
The company said rail offers a more reliable and cost-effective method to transport blades across the United States, compared to moving the 148-foot long, 12-ton pieces on trucks where they must obtain the numerous permits, avoid urban rush hours, sharp curves, narrow lanes and weight-limited bridges.
'This is the first time that Siemens is transporting wind turbine blades via rail to their destination,' said Jan Kjaersgaard, chief executive officer of Siemens Wind Power Americas, in a statement. 'Adding rail allows us to expand our transportation capacity and provides significant efficiency and environmental benefits compared to trucking for long-distance transports.'
|First rail transporation of wind turbine blades from the Siemens Energy blade factory in Fort Madison, Iowa. (PRNewsFoto/Siemens Energy)|
In addition to blades, Siemens is also transporting towers and nacelles via rail to various project locations throughout the country.
The blades from Madison were due to arrive in Pasco, Wash., over the weekend. From there, they will be trucked to Portland General Electric's Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Sherman County, Ore., where they will be combined with nacelles and towers for installation. Siemens is supplying components for 141 2.3-megawatt wind turbines to the site. Once completed, PGE's 450-megawatt wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.
For more details about transporting wind turbine components by truck and rail, read the April 2008 American Shipper, pages 64-71. ' Chris Gillis