Pogbie Wind Farm Project Study

Renewables are quickly becoming the dominant energy technology in Scotland. From 2007 to 2015, output nearly tripled from 8,2115GWh to 21,760GWh per year. Wind power is the fastest-growing technology and accounts for the lion's share of production at 13,889GWh.

The Pogbie Wind Farm development, managed by Energy Law LLP, looks to take advantage of Scotland’s most productive renewable energy technology. Consisting of 6 wind turbines each with a blade tip of 74m, the project has a maximum potential to produce 4.8MW of energy at peak production. The site borders the neighbouring Dun Law Phase II wind farm in East Lothian.

The Challenge

VG Consulting were contracted to complete the Ecological Clerk of Works and Archaeological Watching Brief for the initial phase of development. The site was brought to us at short notice and we had to react very quickly to ensure we were briefed and onsite within a matter of days for the initial inspection. Skene Group Construction Services delivered the civil engineering and construction for the initial phase of development. Naturally, it was important that we worked closely with the construction firm, ensuring our ecologists and consultants could keep all activities in adherence with regulation.

This was particularly relevant as the watercourse and geology of the area – hosting an unusually high variety of species - are delicate in nature. Added to this, the access track crosses an area designated as a nature reserve by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The high number of heritage assets within the locality also meant an Archaeological Watching Brief was essential which we provided alongside the ecological survey requirements. This combination meant VG Consulting’s ecology and heritage expertise was a vital component in supervising the initial stages of the project.

The Solution

With various sub-contractors brought on the site, the challenge was to maintain a focus on environmental issues. Tracy White, VG Consulting Ecologist commented; “Our responsibility was to ensure planning conditions were met and everyone on the site understood the requirements for the project and their own responsibilities for environmental management. The success of our part of this project, at its heart, was due to good communication. Our ability to integrate with other parties on site ensured a mutual understanding, mitigation of site issues and a collaboration that contributed to a well-informed and compliant workforce.”

The VG Consulting Project Management team provided the site set out for stage 2 of the development to precisely guide the engineers to the next areas of development. Surveying also took place prior to construction to ensure familiarity with the site and identification of sensitive habitats and species so precautions could be taken.

Ron Napier, Contracts Director at Skene Group Construction Services informed us; “Working within a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve, designated for its flower-rich grassland, obviously brings its challenges. We relied heavily upon the expertise and guidance from the Staff at VG Consulting. They were excellent with all onsite procedures, ensuring nothing was missed from their risk assessments and methodology of undertaking the works. With them Integrating with all site works, we found a helping hand and guidance at every turn. We found the whole experience unique, as VG Consulting offered the full advisory package and monitoring at every step.”

Deliver compliant, successful projects and discuss your development by contacting VG Consulting advisers at 01563 829 999.

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