Objectives and delivery
It’s not often that power engineers are asked to work on top of mountains, over peat bogs and underneath river beds. But, that landscape became a daily reality for 15 members of the Smith Brothers team for almost a year, as part of a major electrical infrastructure project for REG Windpower.
The Mynydd Portref windfarm project in Tonyrefail was delivered in May 2018, and located less than 45 minutes away from the Mynydd Brombil scheme that came to a close earlier that same year. In addition to the usual considerations that we would ordinarily make for windfarm contracts, we had the added complexities of the surrounding landscape to accommodate on this job.
To prove and trench the 33kV circuit posed an extreme engineering difficulty, not least because of the geography in the area. Carefully-coordinated and respectful discussions with community stakeholders unfolded, which meant mountain tops, trunk roads, farmland and rivers posed no problem.
We negotiated agreements with landowners and scheduled meticulous traffic management schemes in built-up urban areas, to ensure the job could be completed on time and to budget.
As a result, the 14km cable route was successfully designed and installed from the new brick-built substation at Tonyrefail to the point of connection in Tonteg. This meant the 13.32MW, six-turbine windfarm could be energised on schedule.
Commenting on the project, Dan Wagner said: “The Mynydd Portref job was far from straightforward. But this is the 13th windfarm contract we’ve undertaken for REG which is a testament to our ability to undertake even the most technically complex high voltage works.”