Reinstatement works on one of Scotland’s biggest current wind farm sites are nearing completion.
The balance of plant at Clyde wind farm extension, has been delivered by Jones Bros Civil Engineering in a joint venture with civils partner Balfour Beatty, on behalf of the client Clyde Wind Farm (Scotland) Limited, one of the UK’s biggest wind farms.
The construction engineering works were completed in time for a handover to the client at the end of August, while the landscaping and reinstatement work on the wind farm, which comprises 54 Siemens turbines, is on course to be finished by the end of October.
Under the contract, as well as turbine bases and crane pads, a total of 32km of tracks were constructed, to allow heavy plant to travel across the site.
From a total construction workforce of 90 at its peak, there are now 25 employees completing reinstatement at the site, located between Biggar, Abington and Moffat.
During the lifetime of the construction work, the joint venture employed local labour where possible. They included several Scottish plant operative apprentices and a number of labourers recruited from the surrounding area.
In addition, the site recruited trainee civil engineer Alistair Dow, 25, from Symington, South Lanarkshire.
Alistair put the skills learned on his HNC (higher national certificate) in civil engineering into practice, working as a setting out engineer, preparing the ground for the site tracks and crane pads.
Alistair has since progressed to be a trainee engineer on a Jones Bros contract to build a waste remediation site near Greengairs, Scotland.
The Clyde wind farm extension has been calculated to have contributed as much as £121m to the Scottish economy during the construction phase. It has also been expected, on average, to support around 500 jobs in Scotland through supply chain contracts.
Regional Manager, Garod Evans, said: “The job has gone very well overall. We handed over the site to the SSE operations team at the end of August and are on course to have finished all the reinstatement works at the end of October. ”
Clyde Wind Farm (Scotland) Limited’s investment in the area has also included more than £20m of long-term support for community projects, from the community benefit fund.
Oliver Flattery, SSE’s Project Manager, said: The completion of Clyde Extension is a real achievement for everyone that has been involved in the project and I would like to thank them all for their hard work and diligence.
“It has been a technically and environmentally challenging project, but the team has met each challenge it has faced head on”
The Clyde extension project has also been shortlisted for two national environmental awards (Vibes and Scottish Green Energy Awards).
Organised by industry body, Scottish Renewables, the awards recognise the determination and innovation, as well as the people, organisations and communities that have helped the renewable energy industry evolve during a challenging time.
It has also been awarded a Green Apple Award 2017 for environmental best practice, by The Green Organisation. Representatives of the project team will travel to the Palace of Westminster next month to receive the award.