Drumduff wind farm
The site of this three-turbine project is an old, disused open cast coal mine to the north of Blackridge in West Lothian, Scotland and close to the main train line between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
As part of our construction, remnants of the open mine were made safe and small areas landscaped to provide appropriate access, hard standings and infrastructure for the wind farm in line with the planning consent. The majority of land is being allowed to return to its native ecology over time. The site's 47 hectares also incorporates an area of natural woodland which is managed alongside the wind farm operations.
The site is adjacent to an existing wind farm, testament to the good wind resource in the area.
The project has been built as a joint venture between Thrive Renewables and GreenPower - an organisation we have built a strong working relationship with over many years and who are based nearby to help oversee work on site. The name of the joint venture company is Green Breeze Energy. The Drumduff wind project was initiated by a family consortium who sold the project to us in summer 2016.
The 6MW project is forecast to generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual demand of 5,458 UK homes and construction was completed allowing the first export to the grid in early summer 2017.
In September 2018, the wind farm hosted a family-oriented public open day for local residents, investors and renewable energy enthusiasts to get close to the turbines, participate in a range of engaging energy-related activities and talk with the team. At the open day, the wind farm was officially opened by Alison Johnstone MSP.
From the start of 2017, we kept a construction diary to mark the steps to get the project up and running.
9 March 2017: A site visit by the original family developer at the partially completed turbine 2 hardstand.
The control and substation building progress. The site team are tying the reinforcement steel for the Scottish Power HV room.
The roads onsite were constructed using a soil stabilisation construction methodology. These tracks will be capped with stone and shaped off in the coming weeks.
The foundations for turbine 3 has been dug down and tested.
16 March 2017: The soil replacement works have been completed and tested and the blinding concrete is now in place. The bolt basket template has also been installed and levelled. We aim to have the Turbine 3 foundation ready for pouring by the end of next week.
On the right hand side of the substation building the shutters are in place for the pouring of the foundation walls. This is the Scottish Power side of the building.
The track construction is going well and we hope to have it constructed up to Turbine 1 by St Patrick’s Day! (Friday 17th March.)
23 March 2017: The internal and external block works are well underway.
The piling rig is now onsite with the arrival of the 16m long piles.
The long piles will form part of the foundation and are ready for installation.
Inspection of the reinforcement steel cage prior to the concrete pour.
29 March 2017: Thrive's MD, Matthew Clayton and Investment Manager, Monika Paplaczyk join GreenPower on site to see construction progressing well.
05 April 2017: Due to ground conditions in this location this turbine foundation will be constructed on top of the circle of steel piles which can be seen in the photograph. These piles have been driven down to a depth of 16 metres.
The turbine foundation with reinforcement steel cage now complete, prior to the concrete foundation pouring.
The construction of the wall is now up to roof height and the roof trusses and coverings are currently being installed to make the building water tight.
It's early morning as we do a trial run for the turbine delivery using an extended turbine delivery vehicle with front and rear wheel steering.
Concrete is pumped overhead into the steel foundation basket of turbine 1.
Concrete is being unloaded into the concrete pump. In the foreground the Site Supervisor and the Bank’s engineer oversee the work.
Backfill and compaction of turbine 3 foundation with crane pad in the background.
18 May 2017: Turbine components arrive on site from Grangemouth port.
The crane is already on site being assembled for turbine erection next week.
A sunny day as the first turbine tower goes up!
20 May: The blades arrive through Blackridge town and are assembled on the ground until the wind subsides.
22 May 2017: A significant milestone for the project as we see a star lift of the rotor for turbine 3.
23 May 2017: Final phase of rotor installation works on turbine 3.
Turbine 2 towers ready for site delivery.
27 May 2017: Another significant milestone as the rotor is lifted safely onto Turbine 2.
The specialist crane team works safely in an exclusion zone while lifting is taking place.
5 June 2017: All turbines are up! The last lift happened today and now it's time to get them connected.
10 June 2017: The installation team's last day today on site and ready for hand over to the commissioning team early next week.