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A wind farm project in Wick, Scotland posed a big dilemma for Scottish & Southern Electric, when they needed to access two sub-stations across SSSi protected moor land.
The sites, which were under the jurisdiction of Scottish Heritage, required four lines to be moled in with three 33kv circuits laid in each.
Double width roadway
Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the sites, Scottish Heritage specified the use of Dura-Base matting for the contract. Pawel Filipiak, one of Terrafirma’s senior Site Managers, advised SSE that splitting a double width of Dura-Base roadway would enable the Caterpillar, with mole plough and following cable train, to straddle a 500mm gap between the mats. This allowed the cables to be moled into the moor, whilst all of the equipment was carried on the mats.
Parallel cable lays
Pawel decided that the most efficient way to carry out the installation would be to lift the outside lane of track and re-position it on the opposite side of the second line of track, so the next line of cabling would be installed parallel to the first.
Not only was job extremely tricky due to the very wet, very undulating peat bog that the machinery had to travel over, but the vibrating moling drill had to cut through repeated outcrops of rock.
“That Scottish Heritage insisted Dura-Base be used further corroborates the environmental and green credentials of our product”, said Terrafirma MD, Hugh Robertson.
“Leigh McAffer from Scottish & Southern was delighted with not only the job well done, but also the lack of damage or disturbance to the peat bog and the speed that it recovered”, said Hugh.