Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, Romney, Kent

The largest onshore wind farm in the South of England when opened, Little Cheyne Court has the ability to power up to 33,000 homes through its 26 wind turbines with a total capacity of 60MW. The presence of the turbines provides an interesting context to the nearby Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, promoting lively debate on energy production and environmental impact of differing technologies. The main challenge in terms of engineering design was the presence of very weak peat soils. Our engineers devised a cost effective and elegant design with the turbines, met masts and permanent hardstandings constructed on piled foundations with bored piles taken into the underlying solid geology. This ensured that the dynamic loads from the turbines were safely transmitted into the underlying soils, while allowing the contractor to keep to a very short construction program. The use of soil improvement for the access roads and tracks reduced the depth of construction for these elements considerably, offering huge benefits both in terms of cost and environmental impact by reducing the volume of material to be moved and disposed of. The project was opened by the Secretary of State in July 2009. (May be worth a link to RWE’s site- assuming there are no problems with copyright etc.)