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Special trucks maneuver wind turbine blades through Lompoc city streets

wind turbine blade in lompoc.jpg
Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-02 00:15:40-04

More wind turbine blades are on the move through the city streets of Lompoc. It’s all part of the Strauss Wind Project by developer BayWa r.e.

On Friday, two more wind turbine blades maneuvered their way through some of Lompoc’s main thoroughfares, drawing crowds on every corner.

“It is humongous. Giant,” said Ben Apolinario of Lompoc.

Coming in at a whopping 220 feet each, the wind turbine blades have turned into the talk of the town.

“It is amazing just to see it come right to your doorstep. Right through here,” said Dameon Brown of Lompoc. “It's been just a show, you know.”

On Friday, the second and third blades came through with 84 more on the way.

Crews on the ground, in the truck, and at the end of the trailer are tasked with navigating around tight corners, light poles, telephone wires, and trees.

They pivoted through the downtown and then neighborhoods with the trailers’ steerable rear axle and a blade lifter.

“To watch them raise it up and turn the corner and lower it down to clear a power line, raise it up for the next corner is really something to see,” said Ed Glaze of Lompoc.

Dozens and dozens of people lined the streets to get a glimpse and snap some photos of the historic moments of the first wind project coming to life on the California Coast.

“I think it's pretty impressive,” said Malorie French of Lompoc. “I mean, the amount of mechanics and kind of detail that they have to like pay attention to, it kind of puts the chills on your body.”

There will be 29 turbines over 400 feet tall from foundation to blade tip on a hilltop located on San Miguelito Canyon Road.

In the meantime, the blades made up of fiberglass, wood, and metal supports for connection to the hub will continue to make their way from the Port of Stockton into Lompoc through late November or early December.

Once complete, the Strauss Wind Project will produce enough energy to supply 44,000 households working directly with PG&E.

The developer says they chose Lompoc for the wind farm project because the topography is perpendicular to the predominant wind direction coming off the ocean and the wind picks up when solar power goes down at dusk and dawn.