17th October 2014

It has been some while since I last had chance to put pen to paper and write what is supposed to be a weekly blog. Please bear with me on this front as everything is kicking off in all directions and we are completely swamped with work to complete before Christmas.

We have 9 x 50-250kW projects that need to be in and spinning by the end of the year. This is achievable (just) but it will mean that all our site teams and back office are working at full chat for the 10-12 weeks. From the 3rd November onwards for example, we are installing at least one turbine every week with jobs from Cornwall to Stranraer, via Durham, Swansea, Birmingham and Edinburgh. We are hoping for a decent run with the weather but, accordingly to a wise old man I met last week, I have nothing to worry about. He said we are due a sharp, cold winter with very little wind or snow. As long as he is right and we get concrete poured before temperatures get close to freezing we should be sorted.

It is very encouraging that we have new work coming in all the time and are busy up to at least the end of January 2015. In fact, just whilst writing this blog another 2 projects just above Edinburgh dropped in therefore we are busy well into February now!  A couple of months ago we were worried that there would be a huge glut of work to do up to Christmas and, because of the tariff drop and pre-accreditation deadline, things would then fall away. If I can keep a pipeline full of work 5 months in advance then it would take a lot of stress/pressure off me. I constantly worry (quite rightly) about keeping the lads busy – in the old days I was lucky if I knew what was happening next week, let alone in the New Year.

We have also taken the decision to take the plunge and invest in getting WindCare through ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 as well as Achilles UVDB accreditation. This is mainly to do with the new service packages we are about to launch (announced very shortly) although it will also benefit our existing core services. More and more of our customers both old and new are demanding that their approved contractors have the necessary quality, environmental and safety management systems in place. It will take at least 4 months to complete (at great cost) and there is a lot of work to do between now and final BSI auditing at the end of February.

I am looking forward to going to RenewableUK show in Manchester on the 12th and 13th November. It is always nice to get out of the office now and then and see what else is happening in the UK wind sector. If anyone wants to meet for a coffee (or a beer or two on the Wednesday night) then please get in touch. My mobile number is 07825 994004.

Have a good weekend

Alex

Alex Thornton17th October 2014