BAM Ritchies’ Angus MacGregor presents an approach to delivering ground investigation in sensitive peatland habitats with particular reference to case studies including Project Viking, Shetland HVDC and Sandwater Road.
Project Viking was a ground investigation for a planned wind farm, comprising 103 wind turbine generators, 10 borrow pits and 75km of access roads, in a remote location in Shetland delivered by BAM Ritchies during the summer season of 2019.
Viking Energy Wind Farm LLP, the wind farm developer, is a joint venture between the Shetland Community and the utility company Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE plc). The wind farm site is to cover approximately 70km2 in area, and as such the topographical, hydrological and geological characteristics of the site vary greatly. The site comprises largely undeveloped uplands of an undulating nature rising up to 281m above sea level, with numerous lochans and watercourses spread across the site. The hills and ridges are generally peat covered with significant erosion features, including haggs, peat pipes and historic peat slides. Peat thickness is variable with significant accumulations on shallower slopes. Underlying rock comprises complex, hard metamorphic formations, which can alternate between abrasive and non-abrasive, and are generally strong or very strong. Typically, zones of poor rock quality are also present due to weathering and faulting.
Sandwater Road upgrade was necessary to provide the principal access to the power generation and transmission associated with Project Viking and the Shetland HVDC Link.
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