It’s no secret that Delaware sees a big part of its economic future in wind turbines. The Port of Wilmington is ground zero for an influx of those turbines over the next month.
Four ships carrying 264 blades will be unloading here. Each blade is 132 feet long.
Gene Bailey, executive director of the Diamond State Port Corporation, described the shipment as a win-win for the port and General Electric’s Wind division. GE contracted to use the port’s facilities. “Our terminal facilities, location, transportation infrastructure, and most important our experienced and high skilled workforce provide GE and their project customers with an efficient and safe distribution solution for these large, fragile and high value wind turbine blades,” Bailey said.
The shipments began last week and needed the coordination of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security to get the shipments out of the port and on to Delaware highways. Police escorts were arranged after the turbines were put on large trucks so it could help ease transportation issues.
The turbines are coming from South America, but neither the port nor GE would say where they are going. The only information is that they will be headed to land-based wind farms in the mid-Atlantic region.
This is the first time since the summer of 2009 that wind turbines have been brought into Wilmington’s port. The American Wind Energy Association lists GE as the number one supplier for the giant blades. It also sites statistics that last year was a record year for turbine installation.