The first tower sections arrived on site yesterday, a convoy of three parts for T1. They were all on different types of trailer to account for the varying lengths, diameters and weights of each section, ensuring they would fit below bridges and other obstacles on the route from Blyth.
The longest trailer is known as a ‘vessel bridge’ or ‘clamp’ trailer; it has a front and rear unit with no mechanical connection, both parts are clamped to the tower which helps it stay close to ground level, reducing the overall height. The multiple wheels help limit the individual axle weight. Both the front and rear units of the trailer have independent steering to negotiate tight bends, the rear unit can be controlled by an operator standing on the back of the unit to give him better visibility.
Once at T1 the hydraulics on the trailer lowered the base section onto the ground, and the front and rear sections of the trailer were clamped together for the drive back to Blyth.
The main 500 tonne capacity crane is now set-up at T1, but unfortunately the winds were too high to install any of the tower sections yesterday afternoon.
The components are all ready for installation at T2, with the tower sections due here on Friday, weather permitting.
Some work has already started on fitting smaller components into and onto the nacelles on the ground to prepare them for installation. Looking inside you can see the main 2.5MW generator, ready to receive the gearbox.
The bulk of the landscaping has been completed at T3, with the nacelle, hub and drive-train delivered here too now. The final cable trenching is underway here at the moment and should be completed by the end of the week.
Off-site, Excalon are making progress with the cable trenching for the network operator, SP Energy Networks. After the cable ducts are put in position, they cover them with sand and then lay down marker tape for the power and fibre-optic communication cables.
There are multiple ducts being installed at once; one for each of the 3 phases of the 33,000-volt cable being used to connect Hoprigshiels, and two larger ducts on top for the two 3-core 11,000-volt cables being laid to connect the Kinegar/Neuk turbines. The final green duct is for the comms fibre. Ropes will be used to pull all the cables through at a later stage; this is more efficient than laying the cable directly in the trench, resulting in the work being completed more quickly. It also means the road won’t have to be dug up again over long stretches if the one of the cables develops a fault in the future.
There is also good progress being made on the substation at Innerwick, which will contain the switchgear used to isolate the new cable from the existing 33kV network which it will tap into at this point. The walls are going up fast and the interior roof slab has been poured as well.