20 October 2010
Community Wind Turbine Technical visit

Community Wind Turbine Technical Visit - Tuesday, 12th October 2010

     There was a visit to Shapinsay on Tuesday 12th October by senior personnel from the principal companies engaged with the construction of the community wind turbine.
     The purpose of the visit was to finalise the planning of the transport issues for the necessary approval of the Orkney Islands Council and the other parties affected by the delivery of the components by sea and road, and to familiarise the contractors who will undertake the improvement of the access track and construction of the foundation of the turbine.
     The group spent time thoroughly scrutinising the access for the vehicles  carrying the loads safely through the village; the turbine components will have come to Hatston by ship from Germany, then will have crossed the String by a specially chartered local vessel.
     An hour or so was then spent on the access track and the turbine site itself, weighing up the civil engineering aspects of creating a suitable and safe roadway for the delivery and unloading of the equipment. Our access construction requirements are 550 metres of straight country track to be improved to the necessary standard, fairly modest compared to other participating projects requiring up to 850/ 900 metres of steep hill-side!
     It was a very successful visit. All the challenges are very “do-able”; the track improvement should commence in the Spring, the foundation should be “poured” towards the end of May, giving it time to harden off before the arrival of the turbine in Shapinsay, it is planned, at the start of July.
     The planned “life” of the turbine is twenty years. Not only will there be tremendous benefit for the community over the period, but there is a lasting legacy to the current activity which will be looked back upon in those years ahead.
     It has been suggested that we should retain as much of a record as possible for the future, and that all in Shapinsay could/ should contribute. Photographs will be welcome, of every stage of the project, but how about opening it up to ensure that any and every thought or reflection, comment on every success or delay, whether written, drawn, uttered or otherwise expressed is kept for posterity? It would be a fascinating document to be explored by our children and grandchildren!

The photo courtesy of Rachel Garson

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