Best wishes for 2017 to all our readers and neighbours!
It’s been a very quiet few weeks as you would expect. Some of the SP Energy Networks contractors have been hard at work fitting-out the substations at Hoprigshiels and Innerwick, and this is nearing completion.
Excalon have completed the bulk of their other work except for some minor adjustments at our on-site substation, and the installation of a fibre communication cable along the connection route; this is unlikely to take long or cause much disruption as it will be pulled through existing buried ducts from some of the manhole covers already in place. There is some final landscaping to happen at the Innerwick site which Green Cat will be completing in the next few weeks.
One task undertaken just before Christmas was to clear some trees which blew down several years ago in a section of the shelter-belt on site, as part of our habitat management works agreed with the council. This area has always been very wet which is why the Sitka spruce here blew over.
Local contractors carefully dismantled and cut up the jumble of fallen trees, and fed it into a mobile chipper operated by Pentland Biomass, which blew the woodchip back onto the area the trees came from.
Over time this woodchip will mulch down and soak up some of the water – new drainage ditches will help this too. We’ll soon be replanting this area with native species of tree better suited to the wet conditions here. Nearby in Hoprigshiels Wood, Borders Forest Trust are also coppicing some existing trees to create better habitat for some of the wildlife in the area.
Our electrical contractor Prelec is finishing the cable jointing in the turbines and their final fit-out of the electrical equipment in the substation, which will also be completed this month. The grid works are somewhat behind schedule overall, so it looks likely that it will be into February before we’re connected and the turbines are running. Nordex are bringing their commissioning teams next week to start preparing the turbines.Green Cat will be doing the final drainage and fencing works over the next month which will complete their role on site.