Keeping cool on a UK wind farm

31 July 2013

McNally’s Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 lifting the 40 tonne rotor assembly

McNally’s Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 lifting the 40 tonne rotor assembly

Late last year 24 wind turbines were erected at a site on Oswaldtwistle Moor in Lancashire, UK. It had originally been proposed that the project start in 2007 at a site provisionally named Haslingden wind farm. Before work got underway, however, the site was moved from Haslingden Moor to the adjacent Oswaldtwistle Moor.

Installation of the wind turbines was by specialist contractor Dan McNally. The new wind turbine site was renamed Hyndburn Wind farm. The 12 turbines are 2.5 megawatt RE Power MM 82s with a maximum blade height of 122 metres. They can generate an estimated 72.2 million kWh of electricity a year, providing the electricity for 52% of Hyndburn households.

Oswaldtwistle Moor was the preferred location for the erection of Hyndburn wind farm because the peat had been previously drained, unlike Haslingden Moor. Oswaldtwistle is also outside the water catchment area for Calf Hey, Ogden and Holden wood reservoirs, which are used for the public water supply.

The first wind turbine components where delivered on site by UK specialist contractor Collett transport. It had been hoped that all the towers would be erected in between six and eight weeks. Due to poor weather it took ten weeks to erect all the towers.

The wind farm’s location on the West Lancashire moors is on high ground between the west coast and the Pennines and, while this is classed as a very good location for a wind farm, it presented McNally’s with a number of problems. The Lancashire weather and strong winds meant that the company had to halt work for 10 days. Local site restrictions prevented work on site for a further two days.

At the site McNally’s deployed a Liebherr 1,200 tonne capacity LTM 11200 wheeled mobile telescopic crane. The crane is named Fionn Mac Cumhaill, but is better known as Finn McCool, the mythical giant that built the Giant’s Causeway from Ireland to Scotland. Work was completed after 10 weeks from the start date.

Dan McNally erected its first wind turbines in 1999. They were 600 kW Vestas and a 400 tonne crane was sufficient for the job. In 2005 Dan McNally established Wind Hoist, a wind turbine installation company that supplies cranes and trained erection personnel.

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