Wind Farm Access Road Over Mountainous Terrain

Neoloy®Geocells were deployed to construct a wind farm access road over a Scottish peat bog, ultimately reducing project costs by 72%.

Challenge

An access road was required for transporting a wind-turbine generator to a construction site and for installing power lines within a Scottish nature reserve. The site was in mountainous terrain, while the access road crossed peat bogs. Local nature authorities required a sustainable solution with minimal environmental impact, including dismantling of the road to restore the area to its previous natural state.

Conventional Approach

The original plan required several 60-80 cm thick granular infill layers; however, this solution was expensive, complicated and irreversible.

Neoloy Geocell Solution

The use of Neoloy Geocells was proposed for fortifying road segments running over peat. The client decided to conduct a test of the performance of Neoloy Geocells on muddy soil, to verify: minimal environmental damage during installation, sufficient load-bearing capacity, and test its removal. Neoloy successfully passed the test and was selected for project implementation. The client deployed Neoloy Geocells utilizing locally won borrow pit soils for infill.

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Benefits

  • Significant reduction in required granular infill thickness to 20 cm, saving approximately 0.6m of compacted granular infill / sqm
  • Significantly shortened timetable
  • 72% reduction in overall project costs
  • Minimized environmental footprint in natural sensitive area

Using Neoloy Geocells the required granular infill was reduced by as much as 120,000 cubic meters, which greatly reduced project costs and minimized the need for granular infill excavation that damages the environment. The road was easily dismantled and the land returned to its natural state.