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.