Kennoxhead Wind Farm, South Lanarkshire

Kennoxhead wind farm from the air

Kennoxhead wind farm from the air. Phase 1 seen here. Parts of the turbines can be seen at various points on the ground, ready to be installed. Photograph by Thomas Nugent, 6th March, 2022.
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Thomas Nugent -

After the Glentaggart coal mine near Glespin closed in 2011, the Douglas Estate has embraced the transition from fossil fuels to green energy. Today, it is working actively with Ørsted on the Kennoxhead onshore wind project, which is central to Ørsted's onshore wind development pipeline in the UK. Ørsted acquired this project in May 2021 from Brookfield Renewable UK.

The Kennoxhead onshore wind farm cluster, with an anticipated installed capacity of 174 MW, will be built in two separate phases, with the first expected to enter commercial operation in 2022.

Kennoxhead Phase 1

The site is located on land south of the A70 near Glespin. It is close to Andershaw and Middle Muir windfarms which have access points on the B7078. In fact, it was the Andershaw access road that was used to bring the wind turbine parts to the site.

The thirteen turbine site features Nordex N133 onshore wind turbines (4.8MW) with an individual blade length of 64 metres and a tip height of no more than 180 metres.

Jones Bros was appointed to design and construct the turbine foundations, a 24m bridge, the substation building and approximately 25km of trenches for cabling.

In addition, the civil engineering firm had to upgrade 14km of existing track and build 9km of new site tracks as well as provide temporary site offices and facilities.

Collett were appointed to undertake all logistical planning and execution to deliver each of the 130 components, including the preparation of all method statements, risk assessments and all supporting documentation.

Beginning with a test drive of the 46-mile route from King George V Dock to South Lanarkshire, the Collett Team simulated the 68-metre loaded vehicle to ensure that the 64 metre blades could safely traverse the route. Utilising the data gathered during the test drive, coupled with the preliminary planning reports, the Collett Team were able to determine the suitability of the route, identifying any necessary modifications ahead of the commencement of deliveries. This included the removal of street furniture at King George V Dock and required civils work on site to prevent the loaded trailers grounding on the wind farm access roads.

Having undertaken all these modifications ahead of the delivery schedule, phase one of Kennoxhead Wind Farm began. Utilising King George V Dock's 32.6 hectares of storage, all components were imported to the Glasgow facility for onward transport.

Following the recent expansion of their renewable energy fleet, the Collett Team utilised several specialist wind turbine trailers to undertake deliveries. This included clamp trailers for the base and middle tower sections, 6-axle step-frames for the top towers, nacelle, hubs & drive trains and Faymonville quadruple extendable wing max trailers for the 64 metre blades.

Each of the loaded components left King George V Dock between 9:30am & 11:30am travelling under police and private escort for the 46-mile journey to the South Lanarkshire site. Leaving Glasgow, each of the blades, towers, hubs and nacelles followed the M74 towards Abington before joining the B7078 and travelling via Andershaw Wind Farm, then merging on to the Glentaggart Road to the Kennoxhead Wind Farm site entrance. With the identified civils having already been completed, each component travelled to the respective pad site, employing our specialist onsite towing vehicles to overcome steep gradients and unpredictable access conditions due to adverse weather.There is a very good video by Collett of the journey which is listed below.

Phase one of the Kennoxhead Wind Farm is now completed with the 133.2 metre diameter turbines featuring a 13,935 sqm rotor sweep expected to enter commercial operation later in 2022.

Kennoxhead Phase 2

The second phase of the project comprises up to 22 onshore wind turbines, adding an anticipated 112 MW installed capacity. This includes six additional 180-metre turbines that have already been consented, eight 180-metre turbines of Kennoxhead Extension which is consented and a further eight turbines in a redesigned version of what was originally consented as Penbreck Wind Farm.

This redesign includes seven turbines at a maximum tip height of 220 metres plus one at 200 metres. It was submitted to the Scottish Government's Energy Consents unit in May 2021.

Currently in development, Kennoxhead phase 2 is expected to enter commercial operation in 2024, and will bring the total installed capacity at Kennoxhead to an anticipated 174 MW.

I must confess I find the business dealings in Wind Farms strange. I learned that Amazon invested in the Kennoxhead Wind Farm in Dec 2020. I am not sure whether they now own it or they have just agreed to purchase the entire output of the wind farm.

Further Information

Article compiled by David Halls. First published; 25th August 2022