Joint venture wind farm scoops prestigious engineering award28th Jun 2018

A wind farm development built by a Jones Bros Balfour Beatty joint venture was a big winner at a major industry awards.

The Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project scheme was named winner of the Bill Ward Sustainability Award at the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) Wales Cymru’s annual awards ceremony.

The accolade, which is given only at judges’ discretion, is awarded to projects that demonstrate excellence in social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

The 76-turbine wind farm is now the largest onshore wind farm in England and Wales, and sustainability was a priority for the joint venture throughout its construction.

The joint venture employed a largely local workforce, with more than 65 per cent of all workers living within a 35-mile radius of the site.

200 people were employed at the South Wales valley wind farm at the peak of construction, including nine apprentices who learned new skills at Jones Bros’ award-winning training centre.

The project’s local employment policy created an improved level of skill in Rhondda Cynon Taff and its surrounding areas, which benefitted from workers’ pay packets being reinvested into the Welsh economy.

In order to ensure the project’s environmental sustainability, a dedicated team worked on site to install lagoons as well as fencing to prevent silt entering natural watercourses.

The joint venture also established strict environmental guidelines to control elements including dust and noise pollution.

Signage informing the public of the site’s activity was installed, and no complaints were submitted for the entire duration of the project.

The local community also played an active role in the site’s social legacy, as more than 400 school children visits were held during construction.

Eryl Roberts, joint venture project manager, said: “We’re proud to have won this award which goes to show how high the standards of sustainability were for this project.

“92 per cent of all labour was sourced from within Wales, and the whole workforce bought into our ‘Wave Hello: Wave Goodbye’ policy which protected pedestrians and cyclist passing through the land.

“Our client Vattenfall rated Pen Y Cymoedd its number one health and safety site in the world, and we believe the project can be used as a blue print to raise standards of sustainability throughout the industry.”

Pen Y Cymoedd is owned and operated by Vattenfall and generates enough electricity to power 188,000 homes.