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Energy / Concrete milestone for Viking Energy construction

Photo: SSE Renewables

A NEW milestone has been reached in the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm – the first pouring of concrete into a turbine base.

In an all-day operation on Monday a fleet of ready-mix lorries delivered the required 700 cubic metres of concrete to pump into the base of turbine K84 on the Mid Kame hills.

The concrete came from two batching plants set up nearby in the north compound, south of Voe, each of which can mix 50 cubic metres an hour.

Eight ready-mix lorries carried the concrete up to the turbine site via the new road junction at Hamarigrind.

With concrete pours set to be ongoing every few days over the coming months, drivers are advised to be prepared for meeting slow-moving vehicles joining and leaving this stretch of the A970, which is a 40mph zone.

Photo: SSE Renewables

Only the central ring will be visible after a base is concreted and covered over.

SSE Renewables spokesman Aaron Priest said: “This is literally a concrete landmark for the Viking project. The logistics ran like clockwork and the teams from RJ McLeod and its sub-contractors have done a tremendous job.

“Now they just have to repeat their skill and precision another 102 times!”

The concreting operation involved two ready-mix lorries from Garriock Bros and high-grade aggregates from the company’s quarry at Vatster.

The turret at the top of the base will be concreted next week, leaving just the connecting bolts showing.

Once the concrete has cured, the base is backfilled with materials excavated from the site, ready for the turbine tower to be installed.

The Vestas turbines will arrive on site for erection in early 2023 before the wind farm goes live the following year.

Meanwhile members of Lerwick Community Council were given an update on the progress of the project at their latest meeting on Monday.

Priest said the workforce on site is due to rise to 300 by late 2021.

At the moment the headcount is around 200, the meeting heard.

This month work is starting on the AC substation at Upper Kergord for the associated 600MW transmission link cable project, which will connect Shetland to the national grid for the first time.