Port Of Duluth Awaits Massive Delivery Of Wind Turbine Components

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Nearly 4,000 freight tons of wind turbine components are scheduled to arrive in the Port of Duluth, Minn., next week, according to a spokesperson for the port.

The components include 15 direct-drive nacelles, 15 power units and nearly 30 containers that are integral components for Phase B of Minnesota Power's 82 MW Bison 1 project, which is currently under construction near New Salem, N.D.

The wind turbine components, which left the Port of Aarhus, Denmark, in August – as well as the units hubs, scheduled to arrive in early November – will be stored at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority's Clure Public Marine Terminal until they are needed at the project site.

Specialized trucks will be dispatched throughout the fall to transport the heavy equipment to North Dakota. Initial shipments of wind components for this same project moved through the Duluth port in August 2010. Wind turbine blades for Bison 1 were fabricated in a Siemens Energy facility in Fort Madison, Iowa, and transported by truck to the construction site. Towers for the wind turbines were built in West Fargo, N.D.

To date, Minnesota Power has installed 16 wind turbines at the Bison 1 site. Earlier this year, the company announced the expansion of its wind development efforts with two additional wind projects, totaling 210 MW. Bison 2 and 3 are scheduled to go online in 2012.

Most wind turbine components shipped through the Port of Duluth since 2005 have been inbound from suppliers in Germany, Denmark and Spain for delivery to major projects in the Upper Midwest. The port has also served wind farm projects as far away as Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Ontario, as well as handled outbound shipments of blades manufactured in North Dakota to Spain, Brazil and Chile.

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