The BBC Ems, a 469-foot Antigua/Barbuda-flagged vessel, is expected to arrive at the Port of Duluth today, carrying wind turbine equipment that will be used for Minnesota Power's 76 MW Bison 1 Wind Energy Center.
The wind project is currently under construction near New Salem, N.D. On board the ship are 16 nacelles and 16 rotor hubs that will be utilized during the first phase of Bison. Manufactured at a Siemens facility in Brande, Denmark, the equipment was shipped from the port of Aarhus.
The Bison 1 project consists of 33 wind turbines that are expected to be installed at the project by the end of 2011. Sixteen wind towers will be assembled and scheduled for activation by the end of this year. The remaining 17 will be installed in 2011.
Construction of this $178 million wind farm follows Minnesota Power's $70 million purchase of a 465-mile transmission line to bring wind energy from North Dakota to its customers in northeastern Minnesota.
‘The Port of Duluth has handled nearly a million freight tons of wind turbine components in the past five years,’ says Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. ‘We've begun to see an uptick in wind shipments this year, signaling that the sector is starting to rebound.’
The nacelles and hubs will be securely stored at the Clure Public Marine Terminal until needed at the project site. Specialized trucks will later be dispatched to transport the heavy components to North Dakota, according to Minnesota Power.
SOURCE: Minnesota Power