Alternative energy project Armistead Wind farm was an interesting project to shoot with various obstacles to overcome including exclusion zone working, turbine erection only happening in fair weather and some of that fair weather only happening at night.
Much of the construction work of the wind turbines is done off site leading to the final assembly of the large recognisable components being done on site. These, by virtue that the locations are suitable for ‘wind’ farms, suffer from… wind. Windy conditions are not the most sought after element when it comes to swinging rotor blades on the end of a crane jib, for obvious reasons. Having light or reasonable temperature don’t figure either it seems as this shot after midnight illustrates.
The large components are delivered to site by police escort with local residents informed of delivery schedules which are arranged to avoid any peak time travel. Here, a rotor blade is being delivered to site passing through Old Hutton, adjacent to footpath installed by the contractors financed by a social fund – a community benefit fund provided by the windfarm.
After preparation of the support pads and installation of the necessary cabling and control equipment, the main structures of the wind turbine are delivered to site and assembled. This takes place at times allowed by weather conditions, hence, there is no 9.00-5.00 working schedule. This often requires working early or late.
Attaching the rotors to the tower and nacelle is a well practised operation. With the promise of good weather the rotors are assembled on the ground and the cranes maneuvered into place. Ropes are fitted to the ends of the rotor blades to assist positioning of the rotors and to assist in supporting the rotors in position whilst securing to the Nacelle is completed. Seeing such a large structure being swung into position by two cranes and two rope teams working in unison is a sight to behold.
After the wind turbines are installed the farm site is tidied up to return the ground works back to a natural environment. Here the groundworks team are maintaining the surface water drainage systems installed.
When all the civil construction, installation works and landscaping works are complete the countryside is returned to a location which can be enjoyed by the public from the public bridal ways and footpath which crosses the site.