Balfour Beatty successfully installed 140 new composite poles to connect the Dorenell Wind Farm to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Blackhillock Substation with the help of a specialist helicopter from the USA.
The innovative poles, which used a durable composite plastic instead of the traditional timber, is the first of its kind to be installed on the GB transmission network, and has been specially adapted to meet the unique terrain and environment of the north east of Scotland.
The use of the specialist Erickson S-64 Air Crane helicopter, which can hold up to a 10-tonne load, allowed the construction team to overcome the rugged terrain whilst minimising disturbance to the environment and community.
Andrew Smith, Operations Director for Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission and Distribution business in Scotland, said: “At Balfour Beatty, we are continually assessing how we can utilise technology and innovation to mitigate safety risks, increase project efficiencies and overcome challenges faced by the sector.
“Working in collaboration with SSEN, we have developed an entirely new infrastructure solution which meets industry specifications in both the UK and Europe. This includes modifying the pole structures to be less intrusive, enhancing the durability of the insulators and utilising cutting edge conductors to enable real-time monitoring of wind farm and substation performance.”
Composite poles are environmentally friendly and require no preservatives. They eliminate the need to harvest trees, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon consumption, and the degradation of ecosystems. In addition, composite poles demonstrate a longer lifespan and can be re-purposed or recycled at the end of their useful life.
A film of the installation can be viewed here
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 30,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK & Ireland, US and Far East. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission & Distribution teams work with regional, national and international electricity network owners and operators to provide technical engineering solutions.
- With experience and expertise across the full spectrum of the electricity grid, including overhead lines, cabling, substations and distribution networks, we deliver a range of proactive and reactive services which support a reliable and safe supply of power flowing to millions of homes and businesses around the world.
- From scoping and feasibility, to design, construction and on-going maintenance, our in-house experts, flexible resources and industry-leading innovations support clients in the development of some of the UK’s most ambitious power transmission and distribution projects.
- Current projects within our portfolio include the £121m NEMO Link (www.nemo-link.com) - the fifth major interconnector into the UK which supports Europe’s ‘super grid’ and the £55m London Power Tunnels project (www.londonpowertunnels.co.uk) - a new 32km electricity superhighway deep below the capital, which will help keep Londoners connected to safe and reliable electricity supplies. We are also working on a €219million project for ElecLink to install an HVDC 1000MV electricity interconnector between France and the UK via the Channel Tunnel.