Timescales were extremely tight for this project, and Portastor was the only building supplier able to meet our delivery deadline. Speed of delivery was the number-one requirement, but the quality of the building was also very important, since it had to meet all of Western Power Distribution’s standards for switchgear housings
The major new photovoltaic solar energy installation at Rose Cottage Farm in South Wales required a grid-connection substation to create the essential link between the solar panels and the National Grid. The energy farm features 120,000 solar panels over a 70-acre site, making it one of the largest in Britain. The rural location meant that any buildings on site had to be harmonised with the environment to meet local authority planning regulations. As the company responsible for installing
the grid-connection compound, CG Power needed to source a suitable housing for the site’s control and switchgear equipment.
Portastor supplied a robust, climate-controlled 12m by 4m steel building to house the switchgear and control equipment for the grid connection substation
Portastor completed the first fit out of the building at its manufacturing facility in York, which included all electrics, lighting, heating and ventilation systems, as well as some of the OEM equipment supplied by CG Power. The building was then delivered to site, ready for secondary fitting out by CG Power with the remaining transformers, metering, switchgear and protection control equipment. This equipment enables the electricity generated on site to be metered and converted to the correct voltage for transfer to National Grid.
Delivering a building of this size in one piece by road to such a remote location posed considerable logistical challenges. The delivery route along narrow minor roads was surveyed in detail to ensure there was sufficient clearance, and a temporary trackway was laid over the final kilometre of the route across open fields.
The building was delivered within the tight time window specified, which was essential to keep the whole programme on schedule. Once installed on site, the building was fitted with architectural wood cladding and a blue slate-effect pitch roof, helping it to blend in with the agricultural environment and meet planning
The 33KV building was designed by Portastor to meet all standards set by local electricity distribution company, Western Power Distribution (WPD). These included one-hour fire protection, temperature controls and arc vents for the switchgear panels. Simon Goldthorpe, Project Manager at CG Power, adds: “By fitting some of our equipment into the building at its factory, Portastor helped to speed up the project. They then delivered the building to this remote site during one of the wettest winters on record. The site installation went very smoothly, despite the torrential rain, and we were able to quickly get on with fitting the remaining switchgear and control equipment to keep the programme on track.”
01 Siemens Greater Gabbard Windfarm, Suffolk
02 Scottish Power/Community Windpower
03 Rose Cottage Farm – CG Power Solutions
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