A consignment of massive wind turbine blades arrived in the city’s port this week and will be transported in the dark of night across Quincentenary Bridge and onwards to their eventual site in Connerama.
Each blade is 72m in length and weights over 26 tonnes and will be the first of many consignments through the port to service the burgeoning wind energy industry in the west.
Ireland is currently transitioning to renewable sources of energy. As a country, we have been a world leader in the deployment of onshore wind energy. The Port of Galway has played a significant role in the deployment of onshore wind and, from its first deployment in 2014 to the end of 2021, it has been involved in 14% of our overall national onshore energy deployment.
Arderroo Wind Farm, located in Connemara, is now adding 101MW of installed capacity with an order for 22 turbines from the German Nordex Acciona Group. The turbines are from the Delta4000 series, with 15 N149/4.x and 7 N149/5.x turbines ordered and arriving for deployment through the Port of Galway in the second half of this year.
The importation of blades of this length requires the Port of Galway to accommodate vessels measuring up to 107 m in length, with a beam of 16.5m and a deadweight of 6,000 tonnes. The first shipment on the Mv Jaguar arrived from Turkey at the Port of Galway on Monday.
A second vessel, the Mv Eems River, has loaded in Rostock, Germany, and will be arriving in Galway shortly after the Jaguar. She is carrying six complete sets of nacelles, hubs and drive trains. The heaviest components are the 75 tonne drive trains; the Hubs and Nacelles are a little lighter at 65 tonne each.
Already a preferred Port for exceptional load cargoes, the Port of Galway recently identified its need to increase capacity and distribution for larger components involved in Wind Energy Projects.
Three major areas have been upgraded recently to include, increased capacity quayside on North Dun Aengus Quay, modification of the storage area to include a turning circle created by consolidating parts of two large areas of the Port estate and a new access way to Lough Atalia Road through one of the Port’s car parks, allowing for access to the M6 and beyond.
For the Arderroo project, components will take the N6 ring road across the Quincentenary Bridge and turn on to the N59. The turbines will be transported 19 kilometres along the N59 using Superwing trailers. The components will be transported at night in order to minimise traffic congestion along the route.
Arderroo Windfarm will generate significant employment locally during site works to complete groundworks, cast foundations and install the turbines. Installation is expected to be completed by March 2023. Nordex Acciona will perform operations and maintenance for the wind power project for a period of 20 years.
Conor O’Dowd, CEO of The Port of Galway, told The Advertiser that he is delighted that Galway has been chosen as the deployment Port for the Arderroo project.
“Since the Port’s first windfarm project in 2014, we have been the deployment Port for 14% of onshore wind deployment in Ireland and, once the Arederroo project is completed, our Port will have been involved in the deployment in 450MW of installed onshore wind capacity.
“The Port of Galway has and will play a vital role in the transition to renewable energy. With an experienced team in place, led by Captain Bob Ellis, and having completed extensive works at the Port Estate to better cater for wind turbine cargoes, the Port is ideally placed to handle further onshore wind projects in the future and, over time, play an important role in the deployment and service of offshore wind energy off our Atlantic Coast,” he said.
The Port of Galway has ambitious expansion plans and is currently involved in a planning application to relocate and expand the Port. Phase 1 sees a deep water port extending from the Galway Harbour Enterprise Park, enabling the port to operate 24/7 without any tidal restrictions. This will allow the Port to facilitate operation of larger vessels up to a maximum of 40,000 tonnes and to provide for additional storage capacity.
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