… on a country road.
The mystery of that late afternoon/early evening encounter has been solved. Given the size of the wind turbines, we now realise that all those heavy trucks that kept us waiting as darkness crept in were actually carrying not several cranes, but parts of a single crane brought in to repair one of the turbines.
It appears that this particular turbine was struck by lightning that sheared off the tip of one of its 55-metre blades. These blades are made from carbon and are coated with fibreglass and, according to local sources, about three metres were shattered from the end of the blade, scattering debris around the area. The turbine was subsequently stopped and will be out of commission for while it is repaired.
So, this gargantuan crane arrived, was put together and has been set to work removing the 20-25 ton blade.
These photographs were taken on my cell phone from some distance as the turbine is situated on private property. Interestingly, according to Eskom, the eight turbines that make up the Waainek Wind Farm generates sufficient power to service 16 000 households – not that we benefit from it directly. Instead, the power feeds into the national grid.