Work has finally started on the £160m, 71-turbine Harestanes Wind farm at Ae Forest – almost 10 years since it was first proposed. Scottish Power Renewables estimate construction will take up to two years to complete when complete it will be the second largest wind farm in Scotland. In September 2007 the project was granted planning permission by Scottish Government after an onslaught of opposition at a major public inquiry. In 2003 it was planned to have 180 turbines erected on site, eventually this was reduced massively to 71 turbines with the capability of generating power for 120,000 homes. Each turbine will stand 121.5 metres high. When the wind farm is complete 11km of tracks will be opened to the public. Scottish Power Renewables, said: “This is one of the largest renewable energy projects being developed in Scotland and it will make a significant contribution to carbon reduction targets in Scotland and the UK as a whole.”

THE MISSION Deliver 71 turbines to Harestanes on time and in one piece using roads that only logging trucks once thought were passible. THE FLEET West of Scotland has a strong fleet of powerful vehicles and trailers from a range of manufactures a strong mix between MAN, DAF, Scania and Volvo West Of Scotland dominates the field in the Northwest with a range of heavy haulage tractor units as well as a mixed fleet of Nooteboom, Broshuis trailers several of these being fully kitted out for their specialised duties.

Sharp starts are the name of game in the Wind Turbine Transportation Industry in Scotland. Daily West Of Scotland rolls out of the KGV docks around 5am the first escort vehicle makes its way out of the Back Gate of the KGV docks to block the first roundabout and bring any traffic in the area to a halt before the first load creeps out straight into the first set of challenges 3 roundabouts and 1 set of tight traffic lights. Masterfully manoeuvring the heavy long loads through the tight layout of Breahead Shopping Centre the team of West Of Scotland drivers and escort drivers make precision turns round the 3 tight roundabouts on Kings inch Drive with the use of a fleet of modern Nooteboom and Broshuis trailers with in cab controlled rear wheel steer makes the manoeuvring round the roundabouts and a sharp left turn through a tight set of traffic lights onto the motorway slipway look easy. A short run along the M8 motorway just before rush hour starts sees the convoy of vehicles onto the new M74. The Drivers eat this stretch up and in no time they leave the M74 at Junction 11 Abington for their next set of challenges which requires nerves of steel and a wealth of knowledge 4 escort vans and a police escort ensure the oncoming vehicles give way together they guide the loads along the tight and winding A702 through the picturesque country side into Dumfries and Galloway sees the Loads ride the middle of the unlit back road for most of the way over a tight one lane old sandstone design bridge and round jack-knifing-ly tight corners before arriving at the Scottish Power Renewables Ae Forest Wind Farm site just before 7-730 am where the drivers and escort team start the last and final set of challenges hauling the loads up the works road to one of the hundreds of “pads” or holding areas where they then wait for the errection teams to instruct where and when they want the days load offloaded the loads are then checked , washed and signed off before being erected by the contractors and Gamesa the manufacturer of the turbines.