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Viking Energy Wind Farm ground investigation works shortlisted for award

March 10th 2020

Last year's ground investigations for Viking Energy Wind Farm have been shortlisted for a national award.

The works were carried out by specialist contractor BAM Ritchies working on site with consultant engineers Tony Gee in the role of client supervisor on behalf of Viking Energy. The Project is competing in the Ground Engineering Awards 2020, hosted by publishers EMAP to “celebrate the very best in geotechnical engineering”. 

An extensive programme of ground investigations was carried out successfully across the wind farm site in the Mainland of Shetland within a tight four-month timescale, completing in October 2019. Local sub-contractor Frank L Johnston, Lerwick Port Authority, MBEC Environmental Consulting, geotechnical consultants Natural Power, Headland Archaeology and helicopter operator PDG Aviation Services all contributed to the success of the works.

Deploying a helicopter to transport equipment and personnel to and from exploratory locations helped significantly to minimise the ground disturbance typically caused by vehicles tracking frequently across sensitive hillsides.  It also maximised the working time, enabling a large scope of work to be completed in a short period of time.

The Viking ground investigations are up against nine other projects in the category of ‘Ground Investigation Project of the Year’, which is one of 18 awards to be presented at the final in the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 11th June.  The award category recognises ground investigation projects that stand out in terms of innovation, quality, sustainability, health and safety and value engineering.  

A Viking Energy spokesperson said: “The Project deserves widespread recognition for the impressive way the entire team executed a challenging scope of work in a unique location. They overcame many challenges during the works and operated in sometimes difficult conditions, which included spells of heavy rain and low-lying mist.  We wish the Project every success in these prestigious awards.”

Viking Energy’s completed scope of ground investigation has provided critical information which will inform the detailed final design work for the 103-turbine wind farm, which it is hoped will to go into construction later this year.