Landmarc, working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and contractor C&P Engineering Services, is delivering a circa £3 million project to install a new private High Voltage (HV) power system at Kirkcudbright Training Area in Scotland. This will include the installation of some 20km of new underground cable spanning watercourses, roads, forests and agricultural terrain.
The existing electrical power grid and infrastructure which supports the training area at Kirkcudbright is a mix of over 10km of overhead cabling and 4km of underground distribution which, in part, reflects the range and danger area layout. Over the years, repairs and replacements have become commonplace but the overall state of the facilities has been one of general decline.
The project is to rationalise and reconfigure the existing electrical power system with the introduction of a new underground 20km, 11kV, circuit spanning the site. This will ensure the provision of reliable power to existing accommodation assets and provide capacity in order to future-proof the network and allow for upgrades to the system should changes to the training requirement demand it.
Collaboration with numerous stakeholders, such as Scottish National Heritage, resident farmers, DIO ecologists and archaeologists is paramount to this project to protect the interests of the local wildlife, heritage and the surrounding communities. This includes known badger setts, a Scheduled Monument, Cup and Ring Stones and the rock formations along the coastline, which are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The project will ensure that the route of the underground cable avoids, where possible, environmental receptors in order to minimise the impact of the project on local wildlife.
Claire Travis, Project Manager, said, “Alongside the obvious benefit of a brand new, secure and resilient HV network, there are also the aesthetical benefits of this project on the local environment: removing the overhead cable will not only reduce noise emissions but it will also enhance the appearance of the landscape and will go some way in restoring it to its natural state. Burying the cable also reduces the risk of injury from Working at Height and from fallen overhead cables during storms.”
Major (Ret’d) Bob Stuart, DIO’s Training Safety Officer at Kirkcudbright said, “The replacement of the HV Cabling at Kirkcudbright is a major investment in the facilities on these busy ranges and will improve the provision of power across the complex. This work sets the conditions for the further development of the complex to meet the MOD’s evolving training requirements. The preparatory work has involved a number of stakeholders and has been made possible through collaborative working to ensure the project is delivered on time and to budget with as little disruption to the environment, our users and our tenants as possible; these efforts are now coming to fruition as we move into the delivery stage of the project.”