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Revamping and key component upgrade of four ground-mounted solar projects
by RES | Nov 03, 2023 | Temps de lecture: 2 min
Following a competitive tender, RES’ Solar Projects team, who oversee specialist O&M projects, were successful in securing a contract with The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) for the revamping and key component replacement on four operational solar parks across England.
The projects, totalling 61.5MW, comprised of Parley Court (24.20MW) in Bournemouth, Egmere Airfield (21.20 MW site) in Norfolk, Penare (11.10MW) located in Truro and lastly Marvel Farms (5MW) situated on the Isle of Wight. Combined, the sites can provide low-cost clean renewable electricity for over 18,000 homes each year. These sites were identified by RES as being at risk of developing operational challenges related to their original installation, and so possibly leading to reduced energy yields. TRIG was therefore keen to replace and upgrade components across the sites to ensure they were operating to their full potential for the long-term. In addition to the revamping activity, RES’ Asset Management team worked collaboratively with the customer to secure the construction bond monies to fund the package of upgrades and allocate where best required across the different sites.
The scope of works included the design, procurement and installation of transformers, switchgear and a complete overhaul and upgrade of High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) cabling and systems. In addition, Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) issues were addressed across 32 inverter stations throughout the sites.
As principal contractor it was our responsibility to coordinate the management of people, work, time schedules and budget whilst minimising downtime.
Throughout the work, the team encountered multiple challenges that threatened the schedule of the project ranging from COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions and quarantining through to increasing costs and lead times for parts and personnel as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (Brexit).
Using our global purchasing power, we liaised with our approved suppliers to obtain all parts required for the works. It was essential that we ordered these as early as possible due to exceptionally long lead times exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit sanctions.
We mobilised in the winter months to avoid downtime during the maximum generation period of summer. Throughout the work, our team went above and beyond to keep everyone safe and ensured the project continued to progress.
In line with our sustainable procurement approach, old surplus switchgears and transformers were taken from the sites and sustainably recycled.
The revamping was largely conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented unique hazards and ensured only the highest levels of site safety and contractor coordination, demonstrated by no lost time Health and Safety incidents recorded during the project.
Our methodical planning of the programme of works down to the smallest details allowed for a well-organised and cohesive job to be achieved whilst avoiding any additional loss in downtime or revenue for our customer.
Once the key components were replaced and the essential upgrades completed, our Projects team were proud to handover the project to the customer fully confident that the sites were once again operating at full capacity to generate green electricity for the grid for the long term.