Wales-based civil engineering company Jones Bros is marking completion of a £20m contract to build the infrastructure for one of Britain’s most powerful onshore wind farms.
Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather has officially launched Crystal Rig II during a ceremony at the site near Dunbar in the Scottish Borders.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering, based in Ruthin, North Wales, was appointed to construct the infrastructure for the 60-turbine wind farm by Fred.Olsen Renewables, the Norwegian energy and shipping company.
The two-year project enabled the firm to seize the opportunity to open its first Scottish office, in Linlithgow.
The completed wind farm now represents almost 10 per cent of Scotland’s operational wind capacity.
Torger Lien, CEO of Fred.Olsen Renewables, said: “Today marks an important day for us at Fred.Olsen Renewables. Crystal Rig Wind Farm shows just how far we have come from the 20 turbines which commenced operation in 2003, an additional 5 turbines in 2007, through to this latest phase which sees a further sixty turbines installed making the site one of the largest in the UK. We are very keen to support Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s renewables target and also build on the success of Crystal Rig across our developments sites also in Scandinavia.”
Jones Bros contracts director John Dielhof commented: “The successful completion of this major contract shows that Jones Bros is now a significant player in the UK market to provide infrastructure services for renewable energy projects.
“The Crystal Rig installations were completed on time as planned. This was despite one of the worst winters the UK has seen for 60 years, which severely disrupted our work schedule.
“This success is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our loyal workforce, many of whom have worked for the company for many years.”
He added that the company’s expertise was also growing in other sectors, including other parts of the energy industry and coastal defence work, in addition to the firm’s traditional areas of expertise such as highways, infrastructure and waste management.
The Crystal Rig contract involved the installation of bases for 60 Siemens 2.3MW turbines, representing a total capacity of 138MW and taking the total Crystal Rig wind farm to 200MW. Jones Bros built 28km of access roads and also installed the electrical infrastructure.
The project used more than 15,000m3 of site-batched concrete, 2,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement and 80km of electric cables.
Jones Bros recycled excavated materials for other uses on the project, saving on thousands of HGV journeys to transport raw materials from other areas.
The diameter of the Crystal Rig blades is 90 metres with each turbine mounted on either a 68 or 80 metre tower.
In 2004, Jones Bros completed the infrastructure for the Cefn Croes wind farm, Aberystwyth, which with 39 1.5MW GE turbines was the UK’s largest at the time.
It has also completed similar contracts at Carno, Mid Wales; Moelogan, in North Wales and Tullo, near Aberdeen.
The firm has grown rapidly in recent years, including during the recession. Turnover increased 21 per cent to £46m in the year to 31 March 2010.
The firm is currently working on around 20 projects around the UK. In Wales, these include new sea defences at Tywyn, Meirionnydd, the Porthmadog bypass in partnership with Balfour Beatty and a new eco-friendly visitor centre at Aberthaw power station.