Another important step for the wind farm project has been achieved with the completion of the Groundwork Investigations (GI) successfully carried out in Quanterness and Hoy.
The GI works took around four weeks to complete, starting from early October, and managed to finish on time despite the month’s inclement weather.
Central Alliance, part of the RSK Group, a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions, secured the contract to carry out the works following the Council’s tendering process this past summer.
Site Investigations are an important part of any wind farm development. The work involved drilling a series of boreholes and digging test pits across the sites to ascertain the soil, rock and geological conditions. To do this, excavators and small mobile drilling rigs were required.
With this complete, a number of samples will be sent away for laboratory testing which will result in an extensive geology report being prepared.
With insights gathered from this essential testing, design engineers will have the necessary information available to make informed decisions for the site’s infrastructure including the roads, hardstanding’s, cable trenches and foundations that will be required as part of the development.
In addition, these GI works will contribute to cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency of the project. By accurately assessing the ground conditions at the wind farm site, engineers can optimise foundation designs, selecting the most suitable type of foundation (e.g., shallow or deep foundations) based on the ground’s characteristics.
This informed decision-making helps reduce unnecessary construction expenses and prevents overdesigning, as the civil works can be tailored to the specific ground conditions of the site.
Moreover, identifying any geotechnical challenges in advance allows project managers to plan for potential mitigation measures and adjust the construction timelines accordingly, minimising delays and unexpected costs.
In essence, comprehensive Ground Investigations act as a preventive measure that enhances the overall success and sustainability of wind farm projects by mitigating risk.
The GI works for Faray will be carried out in early summer of 2024 when weather and conditions allow.
The outcome of these surveys will feed into the business model which will be presented to Elected Members next year who will then make the final decision on whether to go ahead with the projects.