Traffic Engineering for Wind Farm Projects

6 Mar, 2023
Route Assessments form a critical component of wind farm projects to ensure the oversize and overmass vehicles are able to travel from the delivery port to the site. Hear about our approach when undertaking Traffic Impact Assessments for wind farms to ensure we provide the best possible advice for our clients.

We’re fortunate to work on a range of renewable energy projects across the eastern states, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. As part of this work we have been involved in over 10 wind farm projects which we consider to be some of the most challenging and rewarding projects to work on as a team of traffic engineers and transportation planners.

Wind farms are different from a lot of the projects that we work on in that they require a detailed assessment of the transport route from the chosen delivery port to the site (referred to as a Route Assessment). The delivery of the turbine components comprise many oversize and overmass transport vehicles which includes delivery of the turbine blades that can be more than 80 metres long.

Through our work on renewable projects, we pride ourselves on our consultation with the relevant road authorities in order to achieve in-principle support for the development and any proposed mitigation measures prior to the completion of our Traffic Impact Assessment or Traffic Management Plans. We believe this level of consultation sets us apart from our competitors as we utilise their local knowledge to advise our assessments.

On previous projects a Route Assessment has been undertaken by Amber as part of the preparation of the Traffic Impact Assessment. Then typically a second assessment is required by the appointed transportation company that delivers the larger plant to site prior to construction. However, through our recent involvement in wind farm projects and consultation with road authorities we have identified that it is more practical and provides a more robust assessment if the transportation company undertakes the Route Assessment as part of the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement.

We typically partner with a transportation company at the early stage of the project to prepare a Route Assessment for the following reasons:

  • The transport companies often have extensive local knowledge from driving the road network through previous projects that provides valuable insight to the Traffic Impact Assessment;
  • The transport companies are able to confirm the truck arrangements and details that would be suitable to accommodate the loads proposed for the project;
  • Confirming the transport route by both the transportation company and traffic engineering company at the Environmental Impact Statement stage means there are no changes required at a later date that could potentially require an updated Traffic Impact Assessment to review and approve a revised route; and
  • Having the transportation company prepare a Route Assessment that is then checked and expanded on by Amber provides a robust assessment.

Given a Route Assessment is typically required by a transportation company at a later stage it makes sense for this task to be brought forward to suitably advise the project at an early stage and also save the need for the assessment to be undertaken twice.

Amber also reviews the proposed route as part of our site visit and associated assessment and provides additional comments around the appropriateness of the route and any mitigation measures to address the approval authority. The Route Assessment prepared by the transportation company would be supported by further swept path diagrams prepared by Amber and would typically be appended to the Traffic Impact Assessment.

We are experienced consultants in the renewable energy sector and get enjoyment and satisfaction out of being able to work on clean energy projects to help power Australia. We are regularly in contact with the road authorities and are constantly improving our assessment methodologies to ensure we are leaders in renewable energy projects.

Written by Mike Willson - Director, Founder

Written by Mike Willson - Director, Founder

I have always enjoyed the challenges associated with Traffic Engineering. I’m passionate about seeing a well-designed project approved and ultimately built, and completed, knowing the end product has been well thought out and operates in a practical, effective manner for the end user. There is no doubt that there are huge changes currently occurring in transportation, including autonomous or electric vehicles, and the development of Smart Cities. I pride myself in being able to achieve creative and cost effective, practical solutions, through the use of my strong technical knowledge and the understanding that we are currently in the midst of a significant phase shift in technology. Through the progression of my career I have gained extensive experience in the private sector which has allowed me to develop a detailed understanding of the commercial practicalities associated with developments of all sizes and nature. From this I have been able to focus myself as a leader in Traffic Assessment and Impact Studies and presenting as an Expert Witness. I’m lucky enough to work in a high functioning team with talented people bringing a range of skill sets together, which makes for a great working environment and ultimately results in us being able to provide quality service and a great end product for our clients. As the founder of Amber Organisation I believe in creating a fun, constructive, and productive environment for all team members, in order to help them achieve their goals and experience success and satisfaction. I believe that the ability to help people to achieve their goals in a creative environment is imperative to not only someone’s success, but also to the product that the company produces, and I feel privileged to be able to provide and work in such an environment.
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Amber Organisation acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

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