Works begin on Viking wind farm site
Ground works are due to begin on a proposed 103-turbine wind farm in Shetland.
The company behind the project, Viking Energy, says the works will start on Monday, July 15, and last around three months.
The results are expected to contribute to the final design of access tracks and turbine bases at the site around the central Mainland of the archipelago.
Viking has consent for a 457-megawatt farm on the site and says construction could begin later this year, with the project fully operational in 2024.
The immediate work, being undertaken by specialist contractor BAM Ritchies, will involve up to 50 people who will be involved in drilling, creating trial pits and environmental monitoring. Contractors will be based at a temporary compound at Rova Head, north of Lerwick, and will also use smaller additional compounds on site for supplies and equipment.
Around 90 bore holes will be drilled with rigs towed by lightweight Hagglund vehicles with rubber tracks, said to have a low impact on peatlands. For the trial pits, two tracked excavators will be operated by a local team from Frank L Johnston (Shetland) Ltd.
Viking says a team of environmental and archaeological inspectors will also be on site during the works to monitor activities and help minimise any environmental impact, while a helicopter will transport equipment and personnel to and from working positions to avoid excessive movements of vehicles on the ground.