Foundations go in for the wind turbine

The foundations are in for the new wind turbine… and it’s been a fair amount of disruption, with diggers, dumpers and concrete arriving. The cabling has had to go in a metre deep trench across a field and an half – that’s a fair lot of digging.

We wanted to get Andrew Tucker, a Winkleigh contractor, to do it, but the task came as a job lot with laying the foundations and putting in specialist steel supports.

It was these that scuppered our plan – the steels alone from our local supplier came in at more than the entire job with a Cornish company. I guess a one-off order was bound to be pricey compared to a company that buys the kit routinely. Still, at least we got the contractor to hire a local digger.

The foundations themselves are only 5m by 5m, and will be grassed over when the turbine tower goes up. But it was still a big job. The hole had to be dug, the foundations assembled, and the concrete (3 truck loads) poured. We have been lucky with the weather, but even so there’s more mud than we wanted. Oh well, it will green up quickly.

Then the transformer had to be changed – we need a 3 phase supply to connect the turbine to the national grid. And to get the supply to the house the new heavier wire had to go underground, not across the yard. So a pole had to come down and concrete had to be drilled out and another trench dug. Andrew got that job at least.

I want to say a big thankyou to our guests who overlapped this work, which included a power cut that lasted most of a day. And major thanks are also due to all our neighbours, who bore the noise and several severages of un-mapped services with admirable tolerance.

OK – it’s done now. Phew. Only the tower to go and that should take a day at most. We’re not sure when yet though…

And then, with normal winds, we should be generating more than we use. We’ll still be trying to minimize our energy use though, and already our monitoring shows our efforts are paying off.