Leading UK civil engineering contractor Jones Bros is celebrating its appointment to build the infrastructure for Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm.
And the contract from renewable energy developer innogy Renewables UK has particular meaning for the family firm.
For the site of the 27-turbine scheme which is located within the working forest managed by Natural Resources Wales is just ten miles from the company’s head office and training base in Ruthin, Denbighshire.
The wind farm will provide work for 60 employees, plus 14 apprentices and trainee engineers.
Most of this workforce will comprise of plant operatives and groundworkers, together with some technical and engineering staff.
Jones Bros Contracts Manager, Eryl Roberts, said: “This contract has special significance for the company. The vast majority of our employees live locally to our Ruthin base. This project will ensure that a good portion of our existing skilled staff and apprentices are provided with local work.
“We’ll be basing eight existing apprentices there and creating four new apprenticeships during 2018. We’ll also recruit two trainee civil engineers for this project.
“Workers’ wages will be spent locally, so the economy immediately surrounding the wind farm gets maximum benefit from the developer’s investment.
“We’re also going to be using local North Wales suppliers for aggregates, sand and cement, plus as many other local suppliers and services as possible. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The infrastructure contract comprises construction of 8km of new access tracks and upgrade of 20km of existing tracks; 27 turbine bases and crane pads; plus an on-site control building with 33kv/132kV substation.
The largest turbine bases will require 670 cubic metres of concrete and 90 tonnes of reinforcement steel.
Jones Bros will source rock for tracks and crane pads from within the wind farm perimeter, and also install two plants to manufacture concrete on-site.
Jones Bros will start construction work in late March. Once operational, Clocaenog Forest wind farm will have the capacity to generate enough electricity to supply 63,800 homes. It will also provide a community investment fund worth up to £768,000 per annum.
Andy Clayton, Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm Project Manager, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Jones Bros to deliver innogy’s largest UK onshore windfarm and in doing so, delivering on our commitments to work with local companies where possible.”
Tanya Davies, innogy Renewables UK Head of Business Development, said: “This contract placed with Jones Bros is a significant step towards construction starting on the Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm. We are particularly pleased at the direct benefits the contract will bring in terms of supporting jobs in and around the local Ruthin and wider North Wales area.”