Published: 22/08/2011 15:00 - Updated: 23/08/2011 10:36

Gordonbush Windfarm traffic - slideshow

Written byPhotos by Peter Sutherland, Golspie

Deliveries of massive turbine parts for the Gordonbush wind farm started this week.

Residents in Golspie and Brora are being warned that the enormous, abnormal loads will be thundering through the two villages all week and until mid-December at least.

They will be accompanied by a police escort.

A total of 280 abnormal lorry loads are expected before all the parts for the 35 turbines are finally delivered.

These lorries will be making a return journey through the villages, albeit without their heavy loads, making a total of 560 journeys.

The turbine parts, which are made in Germany, are being transported to Scotland by ship and unloaded at Invergordon Harbour.

Each turbine has eight parts; three blades; three tower sections; a hub and a nacelle; and each part requires a lorry to itself.

The longest loads will be the blades at 43.75 metres and the shortest loads will be parts of the tower section and the nacelle at around 20m.

Meanwhile, the widest load will be the bottom tower section at 4.11m. The heaviest overall load will be the grid transformer and the nacelle at 130 tonnes each. The nacelle sits on top of the tower and houses equipment.

This week will see the most intensive phase with deliveries twice a day.

Three lorries carrying the blades and two normal HGVs transporting the hub and nacelle leave Invergordon Harbour in convoy at around 9am, passing through Golspie at around 10.30am and Brora at around 11am.

Another three abnormal loads carrying the tower parts will leave the harbour at 2.15pm, passing through the two villages at 3.45pm and 4.15pm.

All the loads will turn at the Old Schoolhouse on the southern edge of Brora, and proceed up Clynelish Road and Moss Road and on to the single-track C6 Strath Brora road.

Next week, deliveries will be reduced to an average of three days a week.

A spokesman for SSE Renewables said: "We appreciate that this phase of the project has the most potential for impact locally.

"We will do our best to schedule the deliveries so that they pass through Golspie and Brora at sensible times, avoiding school runs and busy periods.

"In addition we have also agreed to limit the speed of these deliveries through Golspie and Brora to 20mph."

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