The Community Wind Turbine – Work in Progress – 4 October 2014
Stretches of the track from the High Road to the turbine site have been widened and two culverts strengthened. An area of hard-standing has been created, large enough for the long trucks bringing the turbine parts to turn and sturdy enough to support the weight of the two large cranes needed to lift into place the turbine, its generating nacelle and its blades.
In addition, the foundations for the transformer substation have been constructed, and this substantial piece of equipment (weighing about 10 tons) has been duly installed. Work has also started on the connection to the grid and the turbine is expected to be energised early in November.
A wind turbine needs to stand on robust foundations and this has entailed the excavation of a hole 15 metres across and 3.7 metres deep. The hole has now been filled in with compressed layers of a sand and gravel mixture, followed by a massive concrete plinth into which the foundation bolts and a network of thick steel rods have been set, to which the turbine will be bolted.
This is one of the larger civil engineering jobs undertaken on the island in recent years, and we have had the services of an experienced Project Manager, Colin Anderson, ably assisted by IET’s Project Officer, Lindy MacLellan. It is particularly gratifying that three Islay businesses are or have been included by R J McLeod Civil Engineering Contractors in these preparatory construction works – W & M Currie & Son; Iain MacPherson & Son and TA & WN Wood.
The next major event to watch out for is the arrival of the turbine – on three lowloaders – plus the two very large cranes. They will occupy space on more than one ferry!