Windfarm - Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Technical basis
Each wind farm has specific geotechnical characteristics that provide unique challenges.  Intégral Géotechnique undertakes a technical site evaluation and thorough analysis to establish a basis for design of all structural works.
Geotechnical investigations
Integral Geotechnique has extensive experience within the design, procurement and management of intrusive investigation works and the preparation of factual and interpretative reports.  The consultancy provides specialist services such as slope stability and peat slip risk hazard assessments, turbine base geotechnical reviews, ground improvement advice and inspection / testing, earthworks slope stability assessment and stabilisation, mine working assessments and the development of remediation measures.  Throughout these investigations, Intégral Géotechnique applies a flexible approach ensuring the lowest possible cost without compromising quality.  This is implemented by comprehensive supervision and continuous data evaluation followed by project adjustments.  This allows Intégral Géotechnique to control the investigations in detail and secure only the necessary information.

Intégral Géotechnique was commissioned by Walters UK Limited to prepare geotechnical designs for the development of a series of wind farms in South Wales.  ESBI required mining hazard and risk expertise for a windfarm near Ammanford.

Intégral Géotechnique has significant experience within the design, procurement and management of ground investigation works for wind farm applications.  We cover a full spectrum of skills to meet the specific requirements of the site.  Techniques employed include trial pitting and trenching, shell and auger boreholes, rotary cored drilling, dynamic sampling and also geophysical surveys.

Design services included:
Geotechnical engineering encompassing drift geology review and desktop study, geological assessments, review of site investigation information, technical support on location, use, handling and classification of site-won earthworks materials, peat depth identification, turbine foundation design, slope stability analysis, and geotechnical support within access track design works.

Ground improvement design of bases located over opencast workings and tip materials, including earthworks improvements, dynamic compaction and reinforced soils.
Granular access track design encompassing design of new access roadways for turbine delivery and earthworks construction plant, geogrid reinforced granular floating track design over deep / shallow peat wetlands, peat replacement construction taking cognizance of existing hydrological regime and environmental impacts, materials management to improve earthworks operation efficiencies.

Intégral Géotechnique, through working closely with the contractor / client, undertook full scale testing of various forms of geo-grid reinforced granular access tracks using fully laden articulated dump trucks, to assess and optimize an access track construction.

Turbine erection platform design encompassing development and optimisation of three erection platform arrangements for use within given topography and under-lying ground conditions, earthworks quantification and optimization through working closely with the contractors.

Turbine foundation design encompassing review of gravity base foundation options, earthworks quantification and bearing capacity checks.

Drainage works encompassing site visit, review and development of gully crossing arrangement and related pollution prevention measures working closely with project ecologist and environmentalist.
Bettws wind farm is a wind farm featuring 15No. 100m high turbines located approximately 1.4km to the east of Ammanford.  The site is situated within an area of known historic mining activity.  Low pressure, tracked rotary core drilling plant was used to gain access across the site to the key turbine locations identified by our risk assessments.

Pant y Wal wind farm is a wind farm featuring 21No. 80/90m high turbines located approximately north-east of Bridgend.  Low pressure, tracked rotary core drilling plant was used to gain access across the site to the asssess turbine locations.

Intégral Géotechnique’s mining desk study identified the presence of recorded deep mine working and the potential for un-recorded shallow workings in coal seams, as well as recorded mine entries on the site.  Intégral Géotechnique’s field work was targeted to investigate the potential of shallow mine workings beneath the key turbine locations, confirm rock head levels and assess rock quality for foundations.  In addition, colliery waste on site was investigated for re-use within the proposed internal access track construction and as a founding medium for control building foundations.  A suite of geotechnical and chemical testing was undertaken to obtain geotechnical parameters for design to assess the potential aggressive nature of colliery spoil ground and water quality across the site.

Intégral Géotechnique prepared interim, final interpretative and factual ground investigation reports, including; recommendations for additional ground investigation works given presence of recorded mine-workings and at some locations a high risk of un-recorded workings.  Also provided were outline design guidance for internal access tracks, turbine foundations and control building.

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