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Welcome to Hellrigg

Bachy Soletanche is employing some hefty kit to prepare the bases for the four 120m tall wind turbines being built close to the Solway Firth in Cumbria. NCE reports.

Specialist geotechnical contractor Bachy Soletanche is working on a 10 week £500,000 piling contract for Hanson Contracting to build the foundations for the Hellrigg Wind Farm in a remote location near the Solway Firth between Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway.

Due to last 10 weeks in duration, the contract involves piling the massive foundations for four large wind turbines.

The piles will be constructed with segmental casing and under a bentonite suspension due to the properties of the soil and the unstable ground. Each base will contain 16, 900mm diameter piles which vary in depth from 25m to 38m.

Large diameter rigs

Heavy duty large diameter auger rigs are being used to construct the deep piles on this remote site.

Due to its location, and the worse than usual weather conditions, access and logistics had to be taken into consideration and health and safety on site is paramount.

“This is one of our more unusual jobs and another big job that takes us up north,” says Bachy Soletanche contracts manager Steve Mallinson.

“The Hellrigg Wind Farm will consist of four 120m tall wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 10MW and will considerably increase the amount of renewable energy in the North West when work is complete.

“The site is in a remote ­location and we are using large piling rigs and cranes and ­making sure that there’s as little disruption as ­possible to the ­surrounding area.”

After six years of planning, the wind farm was given the go-ahead in 2009. Bachy Soletanche began its work in February and completion is due later this month.

The wind farm at Hellrigg will make an important contribution to meeting the UK’s targets supplying 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

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