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2013 Vol 3 No 2
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Piling works for RES wind farm site Piling works for RES wind farm site

Bachy Soletanche, one of the UK’s leading geotechnical specialists, is working together with its subsidiary, Vibro Menard, to install foundations at The Grange Wind Farm site in Wisbech, Lincolnshire. The wind turbines, being constructed by W&H Alexander Civil Engineering Ltd (WHA) for Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES), will be capable of generating up to 14 megawatts of green energy each year. This is sufficient to meet the average needs or around 10,000 homes.

The £400,000 piling contract comprises the installation of 450 mm and 500 mm diameter continuous flight auger (CFA) piles drilled to a maximum depth of approximately 28.5 m. The piles will be installed together with maintained load and integrity testing across all of the seven wind turbines on site.

It is expected that the piling works will see 22 piles of 500 mm diameter being installed for each of the seven wind turbines. Bachy Soletanche will also install four 500 mm diameter piles to a meteorological mast, six 450 mm diameter piles to the gas protection structure and twenty two 450 mm diameterpiles for the control building.

Vibro Menard’s £433k ground improvement contract will see them installing vibro compaction with stone columns to achieve a bearing capacity of 200 kPa for crane hardstandings at the seven turbine bases and meteorological mast, with a total settlement criteria of no greater than 20 mm.

Vibro Menard’s contract has also involved two zone tests to 150T, six plate tests per crane base to 7.1 T and CPT testing at all bases at the site. Each of Vibro Menard’s 1200 piles measured 8 m depth by 1.1 m to 1.4 m diameter.

Bachy Soletanche and Vibro Menard have been in discussions with WHA and RES since the start of 2012 to progress the project. All parties have worked together to produce a robust pile design for the site.

The design has been carried out to Eurocode standards, which includes a fatigue analysis of the steel reinforcement and an assessment of the sensitivity of the soil to liquefaction, due to the nature of the loads imparted by the wind turbines.

Matt Brown, Business Improvement Engineer at Bachy Soletanche, commented, “We have been working incredibly closely with WHA and RES to ensure the design and installation of the piles and foundations at The Grange Wind Farm site is as swift and efficient as possible.

The design process has been rigorous and we have every confidence that the works will benefit the region’s aim to generate more sustainable energy.”

Click here for more information >>> Bachy Soletanche

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