Month: Feb 2016

Construction update 29th February

Construction work started on the 11th of January 2016. Our principle contractor is Prelec, a Scottish firm specialising in electrical and Balance of Plant works for windfarms. Their civil sub-contractor is Green Cat Contracting, who have done most of the work on site so far.

Access road construction
Upgrading existing farm tracks near the site entrance

They have made great progress and at present we are slightly ahead of schedule. The first task was to form the site entrance near Neuk Farm, on the road between the A1 and Ecclaw. A bellmouth has been formed to allow the abnormal loads such as the turbine tower sections and blades to access the internal site roads. Existing farm tracks were then upgraded between this point and the existing Kinegar Quarry haul road. This short section will be shared with the developers of the two Kinegar/Neuk turbines.

Parts of the quarry haul road have been upgraded to allow the wide and long loads to negotiate the corners along the route, but as it is a well-formed track mostly it can be used as is. At the south-western end, we’ve built a new link section to connect the quarry road into the existing farm tracks on Hoprigshiels.

Link road construction
Constructing the new link section between the quarry road and Hoprigshiels tracks

Now that the link road is completed, the contractors have been able to build their main site compound near the farm buildings at Hoprigshiels. They are now upgrading the sections of the existing farm tracks that will be used for turbine delivery.

Bellmouth construction
Forming a bellmouth junction where the new link road joins existing farm tracks

Over the next month, the contractors will be completing some temporary and permanent fencing works on site, both to keep stock out of the working areas and to deer-proof some of the areas where we’ll shortly be planting new native tree species. Upgrading of existing tracks will continue, along with the construction of some new spur roads to turbines 1 and 2. We hope to start work on the T1 hardstanding, an assembly area for the main and auxiliary cranes to sit on during turbine installation. Construction should also start on the substation which will house the electrical switchgear, control systems and export meters for the site.



On this page we’ll try to answer some of the questions you may have about our development at Hoprigshiels.

The Fishermen Three?

CES and BHA staff submitted names for the windfarm in a competition ultimately won by Marion O’Hara, who suggested they should be called ‘The Fishermen Three’. This name is taken from the poem Wynken, Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field. The poem is a Dutch lullaby about three magical fisherman casting out their “nets of silver and gold”, which is a fitting metaphor for the ‘silver and gold’ that the sails of the turbines will catch and generate for the charities that own them and for the local community. The full poem is available to read here.

What size is the windfarm?

Hoprigshiels is a 3-turbine development which has an installed capacity of 7.5MW. The turbines are 2.5MW Nordex N90s, with a hub height of 70m and a tip height of 115m. During the planning process we reduced the overall tip height and adjusted the layout to reduce the visual impact of the scheme.

How much will it generate each year?

The site will export just under 25 million kilowatt-hours each year. Based on Department for Energy and Climate Change figures, this is equivalent to the energy consumption of around 5900 homes.

Where is the site?

Hoprigshiels is located around 3.5km south-west of Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders, close to the boundary with East Lothian.

Construction started on the 11th of January 2016 and exported the first power on the 23rd of March 2017.

How will contractors access the site?

To minimise disruption for local residents, all contractor vehicles used an approved route leaving the A1 at the junction south of Cockburnspath, then turning left on the Ecclaw road, and onto the site entrance. From here an existing quarry haul road was used to keep HGVs off the public roads in the area. During the operational phase service vans will use the main Hoprigshiels farm track from Hoprig.

Why wind?

Wind power is one of the most established and cost-effective forms of renewable energy generation. By displacing fossil-fuels such as coal, our site alone will save 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, helping play a small but significant part in the global fight against climate change. The Hoprigshiels project is an opportunity for the partner organisations to diversify, and will provide a long-term sustainable revenue stream to support our charitable activities into the future.

How will communities benefit from this project?

Hoprigshiels is unique in that it will provide benefits to communities at a local, regional and national level. We have committed to an annual index-linked community benefit payment of £5000/MW of installed capacity – £37,500 per year initially. This will go to the communities closest to the site, to be spent on whatever they identify as the investment priorities in the local area. Berwickshire Housing Association will use their share of revenue from the project to help build more social housing across the region; at present there is huge demand from families across Berwickshire for affordable housing and the profits from the wind will help meet that demand. Community Energy Scotland is the other partner in Berwickshire Community Renewables; their share of the profits will be used to help other communities across Scotland to develop their own renewable energy projects, growing confidence, resilience and wealth at a local level.