Jones Bros branches into solar farms28th Apr 2014

Jones Bros Civil Engineering has broadened its expertise in renewables with involvement in its first solar farm project.

The company successfully carried out earthworks, access tracks, cable ducting and reinforced concrete bases for transformers and HV electrical switchgear, as part of a 30MW solar farm, located on a 100-acre site in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Neil Beresford, regional manager for Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, said: “This project was significant for the company as it was our first involvement with a solar farm, allowing us to draw on our considerable experience in the onshore windfarm sector, with which it has several features in common. The job went very smoothly and we are looking forward to undertaking similar projects in the future.”

Around eight to ten Jones Bros personnel worked on the project, which will enable the green energy generated to go straight into the National Grid.

Solar farms involve the large-scale application of solar photovoltaic installation used to generate electricity. The farms cover large areas of land, with 25 acres required for every five megawatts of installation, enough to power 1515 homes.

The UK needs solar power to meet the 15pc EU renewable energy targets by 2020. Solar park developers say the installations create investment and green jobs, whilst reducing the reliance on overseas fossil fuel imports.

The project adds to Jones Bros considerable portfolio of renewables work, which includes developing balance of plant for wind farms across the UK. Particular experience has been amassed in managing the complex logistics of working over large expanses in remote areas.

Jones Bros understands the special requirements of projects involving the construction of access roads to accommodate abnormal loads, turbine foundations, substation buildings and electrical infrastructure.

The largest wind farm construction undertaken to date involved 60 turbines (140MW), including the building of a £1m eco-control centre at the site.