Dulas, a leading renewable energy consultancy, has completed the installation of its tallest ever meteorological (met) mast in Western Scotland. The 100m guyed lattice mast, installed on behalf of UK wind farm developer Force 9 Energy, will provide measurement data for a major post-subsidy project in the southwest of Scotland.
While the removal of UK Government support for onshore wind has led to a severe slowdown in new site development, the publication of the Scottish Government’s own Energy Strategy – which aims to generate 50% of all energy demand from renewables by 2030 – and Onshore Wind Policy Statements has given renewed hope for a post-subsidy resurgence in the sector. As a result, a number of developers are engaging in early-stage site prospecting and resource assessment activity, ahead of anticipated greenfield development in the future, and Dulas has seen increased demand for its mast installation services from developers and utilities operating in Scotland.
At the remote project site in West Argyll, Dulas carried out installation of the mast and its accompanying instrumentation, with challenging site conditions and the need to measure resource at heights up to 100m dictating the choice of a lattice rather than tilt-up tubular mast. The site itself was constrained by nearby forest, deep bogs and steep slopes, while challenging ground conditions consisting of deep peat and bedrock added a further layer of complexity to the installation.
However, with installation experience across the UK, Dulas’ technicians successfully installed mast anchors in place before completing the installation in stages to allow for periods of adverse weather. In addition to supplying the mast and instrumentation, Dulas designed and installed aviation lighting and a satellite communication system that facilitates easy data collection, as well as a bespoke solar PV battery system to meet the mast’s power requirements.
“As the last few projects to benefit from UK subsidy support are completed, developers are increasingly looking to carry out early, accurate wind measurement campaigns at complex sites and at great height in order to maximise the chances of success of these future projects,” said Alistair Marsden, Commercial Director, Dulas.
“Despite the adverse weather conditions and difficult terrain, our technicians delivered a bespoke solution in the form of our tallest ever met mast.”
“Dulas’ experience in met mast design and erection was invaluable when it came to this particular site. Their bespoke design and instrumentation services ensured they were able to plan for the constraints of the site itself, identify the best solutions in terms of the technology and instrumentation, and complete the installation to a high standard.” said Nick Mackay, Head of Legal & Commercial at Force 9 Energy.