The installation teams returned to site in early January following a winter break, with all site staff following the government and site specific Covid-19 protocols upon arrival. Snow clearance continued throughout to allow commissioning and servicing teams to access turbines, however, the installation teams’ first task was to clear the crane pad area and components of snow and ice to allow for the safe continuation of works. Ice and snow build-up can inhibit component lifting, as well as pose a safety risk with the increased potential for falling ice; on such tall turbines this is carefully mitigated. On the turbine blades, when stationary, snow and ice build-up can also potentially hinder the commissioning phase, by adding weight. However, when it comes to commissioning, wind also has an important role to play, as it is needed to ‘kickstart’ the turbines, producing its own energy which power some commissioning tasks. This month, the wind arrived either too strongly, or not at all, disrupting progress on this front. In addition, we had a crane incident on January 12, which had no injuries nor observable environmental damage, but has delayed installation activities. When the weather is not favourable for installation or commissioning, site personnel can assist in other areas of development, such as pre-assembly works on turbine components and mechanical and electrical fit-out inside the erected turbines.
To summarise the status, Main Installation is complete on twenty-two (22) turbines; commissioning works have been completed on eleven (11) turbines by the end of the month; and Seven (7) turbines have completed their reliability run, the 8-day performance test and final stage before the turbine is considered operational.
February will be a continuation of turbine erection, internal works, commissioning, test runs, and we should see more turbines enter the operational phase. We are also expecting a delivery of a single set of blades to the site, expected to arrive in February, but without forecast of an exact date.