17th September 2014

It is funny how we suddenly get a load of new work coming in to price from totally unrelated parties for a particular service we offer. This week it has been Customer Electrics for five individual 500kW wind turbines – most of which are located around East and West Midlands. All are relatively similar in terms of scope of works with WindCare doing all the LV works from turbine to transformer and then all the 11kV works from the transformer to the DNO sub. As part of this, WindCare would supply the transformer and as well as Customer HV Switchgear. Although traditionally WindCare is a Balance of Plant contractor – doing everything other than turbine supply – we are equally happy to just do specific parts of the project working alongside another principle contractor.

Talking of 500kW wind turbines, our groundworks crew is pouring concrete this afternoon on a foundation near Hull. They are also finishing off a DNO substation base on the same project and all being well we should be finished by close of play tomorrow. As soon as I have some decent photos I will put them up on our Facebook page for you to have a look at. The guys are then straight into another 500kW beast of a foundation in Lincolnshire on Monday. This one has approx. 18 tonnes of steel including a lot of 30mm bars so will keep the lads fit tying that lot! They then have one more to do back up in Yorkshire which needs to be poured by the end of the month.

It has all got a bit manic in the run up to Christmas with everyone wanting their projects completed by the end of the year. Looking at our schedule between now and then, all our lads will be on site every day (bar one week for the groundworkers in November). This is great on one hand but trying to line all the jobs up and then deliver them to schedule is going to be a challenge especially when you factor in we might get a bit of bad weather along the way. In fact, after having two relatively mild winters, it would just be our luck to get a really horrible one just when we are at our busiest.

My job is now to fill our project pipeline for Q1 and Q2 2015. In the good old days, if we knew what work we had 4 weeks ahead it was a luxury with things just dropping in to keep the lads busy. Now we are planning well in advance which to be fair, due to the amount of design and project management works going into the jobs, is the only way we could operate.

Our install crew is currently up near Aberdeen working on a 225kW turbine before hot footing it straight over to Oban to install a sub 50kW turbine over the weekend. They are then heading to St Helens next week to put up a 500kW turbine before completing a load of local work on a variety of turbines.

Enjoy the rest of the week

Alex

Alex Thornton17th September 2014