The site will comprise 19 1.3MW turbines measuring up to 59m to hub and 90m to blade tip with a total power capacity of 24.7MW, generating electricity for the estimated equivalent of 13,000 households a year and carbon savings of around 27,000+ tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
The scheme is being carried out for E.On. Morrison Construction are main Contractors for the civils works, Power Systems are carrying out the electrical works and Scottish Woodland are undertaking tree felling on the site.
“Morrison Construction have done brilliantly – in fact we have had a good team all the way through. We have had no issues with the contractors, who have all worked well. The site has been kept tidy, the works has been done professionally and we have had compliments from the public and other people visiting the site from within E.On. It’s been a success story all round” said Mr Tom Harrison of E.On.
Before works could start on the wind farm site, all of the requirements of planning conditions relating to the beginning of construction needed to be satisfied.
One such planning condition related to the upgrade of a mile long section of the A839 public road. This upgrade needed to be completed before works could start not only to satisfy planning conditions, but also because the road was not in a good enough state to withstand construction traffic. Given the poor condition of the road, this was a big task.
The road was closed and traffic diverted via the A837. The works involved making the junction larger, so that turbine delivery vehicles and any other construction traffic can easily turn into the site, minimising any disruption to other traffic.
The road improvements have been completed and a ‘dry run’ for the turbine deliveries was recently successfully carried out from Ivergordon to the site.
Currently the turbine foundations and hardstandings are in place and some forestry work is still ongoing to clear the site. The turbine areas have been cleared, with over 3000 tonnes having already taken to markets in the form of wood pellets, panel boards and construction grade timber. The remainder was not mature enough for market and was mulched on the site.
Borrow pits on the site were opened to provide stone to build the tracks to the turbines and for use in making concrete for the foundations that the turbine towers sit on. Sourcing the stone on site is advantageous as it means less traffic on the public road system.
Another element of the scheme involves the construction of a site control building with stone cladding approved by the Highland Council to three of the elevations.
Conservation management plans are being implemented to protect the Black Grouse and Greenshank on the site. These include tree felling to create the open ground favoured by the species.
The civils works will be completed and the site will be demobilised in December 2011 due to expected adverse weather conditions, with the works re-commencing in February 2012 when the turbines and switchgear will be delivered.
A temporary electricity connection will serve the site after it is installed in April 2012 and will remain in place giving a limited export from June 2012, until the site is fully connected in August 2012.
E.ON is one of the UK’s leading power and gas companies – generating and distributing electricity, and retailing power and gas – and is part of the E.ON group, one of the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.On employ around 15,000 people in the UK and over 85,000 worldwide.
Here in the UK, the company generate and distribute electricity, and retail electricity and gas to millions of homes and businesses across the country. In addition, they offer a range of home energy services. They produce electricity from a portfolio of world class power stations and are one of the leading names in green generation.
E.On is one of the leading green developers, owners and operators of wind farms in the UK today. The company has been involved in wind energy projects since 1992 and now have 21 wind farms located from Cambridgeshire to Kintyre, as well as being a partner in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.