Skycrane

All posts tagged Skycrane

Erickson Press Release – 5 March 2018

Erickson completes its first transmission line project in UK.

Innovative project in Scotland connects a substation with wind energy generation by helicopter.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Erickson Incorporated, a leading aerospace manufacturer and aerial services company, contracted with Balfour Beatty to build a transmission line for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE), connecting renewable energy from the Dorenell Wind Farm to a transmission network at Blackhillock, Scotland between Aberdeen and Inverness.
The project provides new sources of electricity with minimal impact on the land environment and is the first of its kind for Erickson in Europe. President of Commercial Aviation Services, Andrew Mills commented, “We like being part of new innovative projects that are a win-win-win. This project is good for the citizens of northern Scotland as they have access to renewable energy, it is a better option for the environment and it is good for our customer. We appreciate the opportunity to bring our expertise and efficiency to Balfour Beatty’s project.”

Scottish and Southern Electricity Network Press Release – 15 February 2018 

Flying into pole position.

140 new composite poles which will connect the Dorenell Wind Farm to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Blackhillock Substation, near Keith, have now been successfully installed with the help of a specialist helicopter from the USA.

This innovative technology, which uses a durable composite polymer instead of the traditional timber, is the first of its kind to be installed on the GB transmission network, and has been specially adapted to meet the unique terrain and environment of the north east of Scotland.

The use of the specialist Erickson S-64 Air Crane helicopter, which can hold up to a 10-tonne load, allowed the construction team to overcome the rugged terrain whilst minimising disturbance to the environment and community.

Paul Higginbotham, Lead Project Manager at SSEN, explains more: “This is a new way of delivering electricity in Scotland and I am proud that we are the first transmission network owner to use composite poles in the UK. The use of composite materials means they have a stronger strength/weight ratio than the traditional wood pole alternative.  They are also less visually intrusive than steel lattice towers.

“We shipped in a S64-F Air Crane from the USA to lift and install the poles. This innovative installation method meant that we did not require access tracks for the erection process and were able to install the poles quickly in locations that would have been difficult to access by crane.”

SSEN has engaged Balfour Beatty as the Principal Contractor to supply, install and connect the 140 composite poles that will link Dorenell Wind Farm to SSEN’s substation at Blackhillock, near Keith.

Andrew Smith, Operations Director for Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission and Distribution business in Scotland, added: “At Balfour Beatty, we are continually assessing how we can utilise technology and innovation to mitigate safety risks, increase project efficiencies and overcome challenges faced by the sector.

“Working in collaboration with SSEN, we have developed an entirely new infrastructure solution which meets industry specifications in both the UK and Europe. This includes modifying the pole structures to be less intrusive, enhancing the durability of the insulators and utilising cutting edge conductors to enable real-time monitoring of windfarm and substation performance.”

Composite poles are environmentally friendly and require no preservatives. They eliminate the need to harvest trees, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon consumption, and the degradation of ecosystems. In addition, composite poles demonstrate a longer lifespan and can be repurposed or recycled at the end of their useful life. Composite structures are already being used successfully in Canada, the USA, Scandinavia and Ireland. SSEN, operating under licence as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc is responsible for maintaining and investing in the electricity network in the north of Scotland.