She’s a bit wild out there today! We have had to pull all our climbing engineers off turbines due to the wind. As a general rule of thumb we won’t allow any climbing when wind speeds exceed 10m/s and it is doing double that at the moment. We were hoping to get through a load of scheduled service and maintenance work early this week but everything will know have to be put back a day. It is a bit of a logistical nightmare but after 3 years of dealing with the weather, we can normally work around it quite well! At the back-end of this week (weather permitting) we will be putting up a couple of 225kW turbines (30m towers) near Scarborough. The guys will then be heading down to Cambridge to put up another 225kW turbine before hot footing it to Cheshire for a 500kW mechanical install.
Our groundworks crew are currently in East Riding setting out for the construction of a DNO substation base as well as a 500kW wind turbine foundation. This is the first of potentially 5 of these jobs – most of which are local which makes a nice change – all of which need to be in in the next 3 months or so. The substation base requires numerous inspections by the DNO throughout the construction phase the first of which will be taking place this afternoon.
This week we welcome our latest addition to the team. Ben joins us as Installation Manager and comes from big off-shore wind. Ben was previously Lead Operations Manager on some seriously big off-shore wind farms and we are delighted he has chosen to come and work with us. He will be leading our installation team and ensuring everything is in place before the guys get to site as well as running the jobs during the construction phase. He will be responsible for installation H&S as well as issuing DPRs which are vital both for the office and our clients.
Ben is also going to be helping us run a new range of services we are going to be launching very soon. Due to the long-term uncertainty in the Governments strategy for small/medium scale onshore wind, we are seeking opportunities in other markets/sectors so we are less reliant on a single market which is completely out of our control. Our core business will remain unchanged but I think it would be reckless if we kept all our eggs in one basket which the Government could pull at any time. Further news on this development will be announced in the next week or so but it is very exciting and complements our existing business model nicely.
New work continues to come in thick and fast which is encouraging. We are pricing for a lot of larger jobs (225kW – 500kW turbines) at the moment and the FiT pre-accreditation / degression is meaning people are working to very tight timescales to get turbines spinning. Today I am pricing for LV/HV Customer Electrics for a 250kW turbine in Cumbria, a foundation/holding down assembly for an 180kW turbine in Wales, Balance of Plant (BoP) for a 300kW turbine in Somerset as well as BoP for a 225kW turbine in Durham (with a 20kV supply which is a bit of a nightmare!). Interestingly, all the projects we are currently pricing are shovel ready – planning/grid in place – whereas this time last year much of what we were pricing for was speculative (before projects have gone in for planning).
Enjoy the rest of the week.