Exploring Onshore Renewables Infrastructure Design with Gondolin
The team at Gondolin Land & Water have significant experience in undertaking onshore renewables infrastructure design for wind farms and other renewable developments (i.e. Battery Energy Storage Sites, Solar Farms, Hydropower Schemes, Sub-stations etc) within the UK.
Gondolin primarily get involved in projects at the feasibility and planning stage, typically producing designs to inform EIA submissions, however we can also provide post consenting and construction phase design services and site support.
Feasibility, Site Selection and Appraisal
At the feasibility and pre-planning stage, our team typically supports developers to confirm the viability of potential development sites. This generally involves production of a high-level access track design using typical track specification constraints to determine whether access to the main body of a site from a public road will be viable.
Our experienced civil engineers use the industry leading Infraworks design software to undertake the initial design optioneering which enables a high level 3D design to be undertaken efficiently by importing typical constraints data into the software such as peat depths, designations, buffer zones etc and designing around these. A number of options are typically presented at this stage. This can be accompanied by a summary report to ensure that the reasoning behind any subsequent decisions on the progression of the site are documented comprehensively.
Onshore Renewables Site Design for Planning Applications and Environmental Impact Assessments
Once sites are progressed to the point that the developer is ready to submit a planning application or EIA, Gondolin will support our clients with the ‘fixed’ onsite infrastructure design layout. This generally starts by assessing a potential scoping layout and verifying that the proposed layout is viable from an engineering perspective and that the locations of all turbines are able to be sensibly reached by access tracks whilst avoiding key constraints (such as deep peat, steep gradients, sensitive environmental designations etc).
Post-Scoping, once detailed constraints data is available the initial infrastructure layout will be further refined and would likely also include ancillary infrastructure such as the site access junction, turbine hardstandings, substation compound, construction compounds, watercourse crossings, drainage layout and borrow pits. Autodesk Infraworks is generally used as a design tool and to enable the wider team to visualise the proposed development and discuss design options.
Gondolin collaborates closely with the wider project team to ensure that the impacts on any key constraints are minimised. Our experienced civil engineers will frequently attend Design Team Meetings and respond quickly to design queries from the project team. All design work is undertaken in 3D using Infraworks to ensure that any infrastructure is compliant with turbine suppliers specifications and to ensure that an accurate indication of the extents of the works (ie earthworks embankments etc) can be provided to the wider team. The Infraworks software suite makes for efficient importation of spatial constraints data and survey information (i.e. peat, hydrological features, rock outcrops for borrow pit locations etc) to inform the design freeze layout.
Following confirmation of turbine design freeze, the infrastructure layout would be finalised and any final input from the wider team incorporated into the design. Gondolin typically also produce a suite of provisional construction details to support applications and provide input to other disciplines in terms of likely material volumes and construction methodology.
Post Consenting and Construction Phase
Following granting of planning permission we can support developers with the detailed infrastructure design which is typically required to address planning conditions. This includes providing detailed engineering designs for Borrow Pits, access track layout, wastewater and surface water drainage design, pollution prevention measures, watercourse crossings, flood mitigation measures and general infrastructure such as compounds, laydown areas etc.
We also support Principal Contractors providing similar services above as part of ‘Design & Build’ contracts.
Contact Gondolin Land & Water
Whether you're in the early stages of planning, or ready to move forward with detailed infrastructure design, don't hesitate to reach out and contact us today to see if we can help with your onshore renewables project. Fill in your details using the form below, or visit the Contact Us page.