Have you ever wondered how wind farms are created? No, they do not grow on site. Every component of the windmill must be delivered there. To get an idea of what a challenge this is: the world’s largest wind turbine blade is longer than a football field – 107 meters!

On June 2nd, 2020 the article on a vehicle transporting a wind turbine blade was published on Stuff.co.nz

A truck transporting the first giant turbine blade destined for use on a South Taranaki wind farm tipped on its side along State Highway 45 on Tuesday. The 64 meter-long blade was one of two supposed to be taken from Port Taranaki in the early hours of the morning heading for the $227 million Waipipi Wind Farm being developed near Waverley by Tilt Renewa

Okato residents were woken by the sound of a massive thud between 6 am and 6.30 am. A truck transporting a wind turbine blade tipped over, just south of Okato. It was the first of 93 blades and a large number of other components that would be transported to the site.

The NZTA advisory said the truck was meant to leave the port at 3 am and arrive at Waipipi by 8 am, heading south through New Plymouth and then onto State Highway 45, but something went wrong.

Based on the photo, I would think that the driver misjudged the curve, which would have caused the rear axle to come off the road on the inside of the turn, which would have caused the trailer to fall into the drainage ditch. On New Zealand country roads it is common for the transition between the roadside and the ditch to be very slight.

The consequences of this unfortunate event were that the highway was reduced to one lane with stop-go traffic management and the power supply to 33 customers in the area had to be cut off to allow the truck and its load to pass safely under the power lines. Fortunately, the driver escaped unharmed and there seemed to be no significant damage to the fiberglass blade, which was then loaded onto a second trailer and taken to the site where further testing was to take place.

After the accident Tilt Renewables Clayton Delarter, the Executive General Manager of Renewable Developments said that an investigation would be carried out to determine what caused the truck to tip over and to eliminate any risk of the accident happening again. But what if we could prevent this from happening in the first place?

Let’s take a look at the following video showing the transport of the wind turbine blade on State Highway 45 in Autopath (click here for video).