On October 20, the first LM 73.5 P wind turbine blade successfully arrived at Castellón Port. It is the largest blade ever produced and transported through Spain. Destined for the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany to power GE’s Haliade 150-6 MW offshore wind turbine, the 73.5 m blade began its journey at LM Wind Power’s factory in Castellón, and travelled 45 km by road to reach the port.
This new size record in Spain reflects the fast development of the wind industry to continuously introduce longer and more complex blades, designed to lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and serve the growing offshore market.
Castellón Plant Director, Jose Luis Grau said: “LM Wind Power’s Castellón plant was founded in 2007 starting with about 60 people and producing 37.3 m blades. Today, the factory employs more than 620 people and produces much larger blades, up to 73.5 m in length, for multiple customers. This is a strong example of how the wind industry in Spain continues to play a significant role as a source of economic development and job creation.”
Laurent Verdier, GE’s Offshore Wind business Project Office Leader said, “The onshore assembly hub was opened some weeks ago in Eemshaven, The Netherlands, and is ready for receiving the wind turbine main components, including blades, and preparing the offshore installation works that is expected to start in February 2018.”
In total, 198 LM 73.5 P blades will be shipped to the Merkur site. The first blade arrived ahead of schedule – with a 3.5-hour transport time – and the duration of the journey is expected to decrease as the drivers perfect their routine over the coming months.
Successfully transporting the longest blade ever produced in Spain required more than one year of planning and analysis of road conditions by LM Wind Power and GE, as well as active cooperation with the local police, Regional Government, the Minister of Fomento and the Castellón Port Authorities to prepare the route for this large cargo.
Factories, such as the one at Les Coves in Castellón, help make Spain the fourth largest exporter of wind turbines in the world, each year exporting cutting-edge technology valued at more than 3 million euros.
Merkur windfarm is located approximately 35 km north of the island of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea, and consist of 66 turbines that will generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, enough clean energy to power around 500,000 homes. When completed (end 2018), Merkur will be one of Germany’s largest offshore wind farms.