Ewe Hill 16 Windfarm, Lockerbie

Project Summary

Soil Engineering (SEGL) were appointed to undertake a ground investigation for the proposed sixteen turbine windfarm located at Ewe Hill, to the east of Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway. The investigation required an assessment of the nature and composition of the ground at each proposed wind turbine positon, as well along the proposed access roads, and at the three borrow pit locations, from which materials would be sourced, if found to be of suitable geotechnical quality.

Soil Engineering Solution

The heavily forested nature of the site presented unusual access challenges. SEGL deployed specifically modified and specially sourced plant to accommodate the challenging conditions, including a track mounted rotary drill rig and a rotary drill rig mounted on a Hagglund (ATV – all terrain vehicle), as well as two 360° LGP (low ground pressure) tracked excavators to complete the trial pitting, access track improvement, and clearing of borehole locations. Additional ATV’s (Hagglunds) were also deployed to transport the ancillary drilling equipment (compressors, pumps etc) and provide support vehicles for the drilling and trial pitting crews.

The scope of works comprised:

  • 18 No. rotary boreholes
  • 2 No. Dynamic sampling boreholes
  • 48 No. turbine trial pits
  • 93 No. road trial pits
  • 15 No. borrow pit trial pits
  • 82 TRL probes
  • Geophysical surveying comprising 16 No. soil resistivity & 28 No. thermal resistivity locations
  • In-house geotechnical testing and third-party environmental testing
  • Post site works gas and groundwater monitoring and groundwater sampling

Soil Engineering Value

Ewe Hill 16 Windfarm covers an extensive upland area of approximately 438 hectares, consisting of upland hills and managed forestry. The work area, remote from the main compound, had no drive-on access and was predominately covered by soft organic peat deposits. SEGL used drilling rigs that were specially mounted by the in house workshop onto LPG ATV’s, and working with our preferred suppliers SEGL ensured that the correct plant and equipment, appropriate to the site conditions was utilised throughout the works. The chosen plant coped exceptionally well with the ground conditions which allowed SEGL to complete the works to the satisfaction of the client in less than 6 weeks. SEGL’s experienced site management team also ensured the works were completed safety and efficiently in challenging conditions. The main works were completed on programme and within budget, with challenging logistical constraints and difficult site conditions encountered throughout.

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