Cardiff City Council – Lamby Way

Cardiff City Council have a new 9MW solar farm which is installed on a former landfill site located at Lamby Way.

As a result of this newly-constructed solar farm, the Council required the expertise of a utilities contractor to provide connection, and chose OCU, who could call upon almost 28 years of experience to deliver the project that had two connection points. This meant we had to liaise with and build key working relationships with multiple important stakeholders; the first connection point was on site and connected to the local DNO network. The second connection was a private wire supply to a site owned by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water on Rover Way.

The project is key to the council’s ongoing response to the climate emergency and will not only directly contribute to Cardiff City Council’s carbon reduction aspirations, it will also ensure long term decarbonisation of the water treatment works activity, which is located at the second connection point. 

Scope of Work

We were tasked by Cardiff City Council with a wide range of deliverables, chiefly ensuring the installation and testing the private wire connecting the new solar park located at Lamby Way Landfill Site – the first connection point – to the existing 11kV infrastructure at the Cardiff Waste Water Treatment Works, which is the second connection point.

Construction wasn’t straightforward and our team had to negotiate several engineering and technical challenges that were encountered throughout the 3.2km route. These included:

  • High service density at planned HDD site number 2 under Rover Way meant that we had to amend the method of installation to open cut works for 429m at the Road Crossing for Rover Way
  • Reduced working hours after discussions with the Highways Authorities who implemented these limitations
  • Consents including Highways, Land Entry and Marine Licence in line with the tender programme

Work extended at the Lamby Way end to the connection of the cables from the contracted works to cable which was presented to the retrieval pit for the directional drill on the east side of the River Rhymney; at the Welsh Water site, the works extended to the presentation of the cables together with specified quantities of spare cable to a joint bay location that was adjacent to the newly-constructed wastewater treatment works substation.

The scope of works set out required OCU to apply for and manage consents, including upfront communications and liaison with the local authorities and the highways for road opening licences.

We performed testing and commissioning, in line with industry standards and best practice, prior to the power and communications cables entering operational service.

Our experienced Regional Streetworks team delivered a range of activities as part of this contract, including:

  • Arranging and agreeing all lane and road closures as well as diversions
  • Controlling traffic during the contract delivery when restrictions on traffic were in operation.
  • Ensuring that all traffic control requirements of the authorities were carried out.
  • Ensuring all equipment was inspected and maintained to the appropriate standards
  • Arranging diversions and temporary highway crossings and accesses
  • Arranging duties for watchmen so that the site was patrolled and inspected, with equipment continuously attended to and maintained.

OCU completed the project within 90 days, in line with the agreements made with Cardiff City Council upon agreement of the contract; in that time, the total length of cable and fibre installation was approximately 3,000m.

All aspects of the contract were delivered to the satisfaction of all stakeholders involved and we were sensitive to the neighbouring community throughout the duration of works, ensuring minimal disruption was caused.