Government to study better transportation of wind tower blades

The federal government’s picked GE Renewables for a $5 million study of how to move those giant wind farm blades up and down the highways of America.

Trucks towing the massive blades are seen almost daily moving up and down Interstate 35 carrying the blades from Texas to Oklahoma and other states where wind farms are being construction.

GE Renewables will carry out tests and study designs and demonstrate a nearly 420 foot tall wind turbine. The company will base the tower on a 33-foot 3-D printed concrete pedestal topped with a nearly 330 foot “soft” steel section.

In announcing the project, the Department of Energy said the innovations will help the wind industry  overcome the transportation constraints that currently hinder tall tower installations in the U.S.

Why taller towers? The government states the taller wind turbine towers can enable access to higher wind speeds, increasing energy capture and reducing cost. The DOE says continued economies of scale are currently limited by transportation constraints.

Source: DOE announcement