Cairnborrow Wind Farm


Engineered Systems (Electrical) Ltd recently completed work at Cairnborrow Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. ESE carried out a combined ICP and BOP role for Cairnborrow Wind Energy (Owned by ENGIE) which is a 10MW site comprising of five turbines.

The full Independent connection provider (ICP) design was carried out by ESE and subject to the approval of Scottish & Southern, the 33kV cable route from the point of connection to the wind farm was a challenge with a combination of both underground cable and overhead line totaling 14km. ESE supplied and installed 8km of underground 33kV cabling in a combination of road and verge, the trench excavation, duct lay, installation, and trench reinstatement, which was all carried out within 16 weeks. ESE liaised with the BEAR highways agency, Aberdeenshire and Morayshire council, local transport providers, and stakeholders to ensure disruption to transport and local key annual events.

The overhead line consisted of 6km, made up of 66 poles in total which were installed in just 9 weeks despite challenging weather conditions. The route took on a variety of terrain over private land, highways, and existing overhead services. We worked closely with stakeholders and client appointed environmental consultants to install the line to the satisfaction of all parties.

As part of the ICP work, ESE carried out the design, procurement, and installation of the DNO switchgear which included 33kV Schneider switchgear, battery tripping units, and control wiring between the DNO and customer switchgear. The whole installation was carried out to the satisfaction of the DNO and was tested and commissioned in accordance with their specifications.

The second part of ESE’s scope of works was the Balance of Plant which included:

  • Supply and installation of 33kV main intake switchgear consisting of a three panel Schneider WS switchboard.
  • Supply and installation of battery tripping units.
  • Supply and installation of metering units.
  • Design, supply, and installation of the entire wind farm and substation earthing system.
  • Design, supply, installation, and termination of 5km of site-wide cabling including all 33kV HV cabling.
  • Design, supply, and installation of substation low voltage fit-out including heating, lighting, power supplies.
  • Supply and installation of 33/0.4kV 70kVA Auxiliary Transformer.
  • Design, Supply, and installation of back-up 80kVA diesel generator including auto-change over facility.
  • Testing and commissioning of the entire system.
  • Provision of all senior authorised personnel and switching activities until official handover had taken place.
  • Project management and planning of all work and liaison activities between all parties to maintain the project schedule.

Whilst the WTG transformers and switchgear was provided by others, it was the responsibility of ESE to carry out the termination of both the 33kV and fibre cabling, liaise with the WTG manufacturer, and test and commission the entire system.

ESE acted as Principle Contractor for all works outside the Wind Farm boundary and dealt with all stakeholders including the Client, DNO, Local Council, local residents, local transport, and schools to maintain relationships and limit disruption to the local area.

ESE was delighted to attend the official wind farm opening by Paul Wheeler, Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation, and Energy.