2012 marked the Co-operatives farming centenary at Coldham, it also marked the opening of the 14 MW seven turbine Coldham II wind farm which is built adjacent its Phase I 16 MW sibling, a scheme capable of powering 8,000 homes.
R G Carter were initially appointed on a negotiated basis to collaborate with both the employer and their representative, Natural Power, to obtain a fast track procurement route with designs and project development being undertaken whilst helping develop employers requirements and negotiate the projects risk allocations with the contractual terms in parallel.
Although poor geotechnical conditions and adverse winter weather were encountered during the construction phase the works were completed to programme to the clients satisfaction. The project saw sustainability incorporated into the design and construction of the crane hard standings as well as approximately 50,000 tonnes of recycled material being used. Provided to our own highly prescribed bespoke engineering aspect specification, this was transported and delivered to a nearby railhead, meaning vehicle movements required to deliver the material were also significantly reduced, thereby minimising subsequent CO2 emissions.
The Co-operative through the Coldham farm has a range of education programmes: Plan Bee, a campaign that aims to address the decline in pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths;
Habitat Heroes, a project set up on seven of its farms across the UK to support vulnerable species with the aim of preserving some of the UK’s most iconic species, and Energy Works, an education programme provided in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council which gives school children across the Fenland region opportunities to learn about the environment and renewable energy using the onsite education centre.
Throughout the construction phase we carried out supervised school visits giving school children the opportunity to see the wind farm infrastructure in development prior to visiting the completed phase 1 wind farm. This enabled the students to gain an appreciation of the whole life cycle of a construction project. The completion of the wind farm coincided with the Cooperatives farming centenary at the farm and we were invited by the Co-operative to participate this years Open Farm Sunday, which was also attended by Jim Paice, the Minister of
State for Agriculture and Food.
There were events carried out throughout the day at Coldham from tractor rides to treasure hunts. In between these events we were on hand to engage with, and answer questions from, the local community about the construction of the wind farm, providing booklets detailing the wind farm construction.