Fairburn Windfarm

Attribution: unknown or not recorded


Location: Fairburn Estate, Strathconon, 5 miles south of Marybank.
Capacity: 40mw (2 turbines at 2mw each)

The turbines generate power at 690 volts AC at the generator. This power is transformed to DC at the top of the tower and then reverts to AC (50 cycles) at the tower base for transmission to the switch room and then to the national grid sub-station at Orrin Dam.

Construction commenced in February 2009 and commissioning was completed in January 2010.

The contractors appointed for the work:

R J Macleod (Civil), Dingwall
RE Power (Control Systems)
Scottish Hydro Contracting (Electrical), Evanton
McNally’s Heavy Lifting

The construction of the Fairburn Windfarm Project is illustrated in the following photographs.

Text: Angus Christie
Photographs: John Finlayson


Approximately 5 miles of access and “distributor” roads had to be constructed, all to a high specification, to accommodate:

1. heavy lift cranes;
2. transport of tower components
3. transport of turbine components.

The roads were constructed from materials which were all quarried on site from two borrow pits.

06 Roads

Borrow Pit

In addition to the materials required for road construction, the borrow pits were established complete with stone crushing plant to produce the aggregates required in the massive quantities of concrete in the foundations of each of the twenty towers. The concrete was mixed in a batching plant also established on site.

03 Borrow Pit

Batching Plant

The only material for concrete production imported to site was cement. The batching plant incorporated all weighing and mixing equipment to ensure that all batches were in accordance with an exacting specification.

08 Batching Plant


The power generated at each turbine is fed to a sub-station located on site before being fed to the switch yard at the Orrin Power Station and to the National Grid.

10 Sub-Station

Switch Room

11 Switch Room
13 Switch Room

Tower Civil Works

The civil works incorporated:
1. Sub-base
2. Steel reinforcing
3. Mass concrete
4. Anchor ring

Note: The Civil Works (roads, foundations and buildings) accounted for £10m out of a total project cost of £50m.

17 Tower Civil Works


All major large components (generators, hubs, blades, towers) were shipped to the Service Base at Invergordon and transported to site by special heavy goods vehicles requiring police escort. Vehicles travelled in convoys of three; a total number of deliveries was 140.

23 Transport

Turbine Assembly

After the completion of the tower, the generator unit was lifted onto the top of the tower. The hub and three blades were assembled at ground level and lifted to be assembled with the generator.

37 Turbine Assembly

Turbine Lift

The lifting of the turbine assembly is a complex and specialist activity using equipment and procedures which have been prepared and developed well in advance of lifting.

Note: Given favourable weather conditions and a travel schedule approved by the Police, one complete tower and turbine can be erected in a 24 hour period.

69 Turbine Lifting

assemble to generator

75 Turbine Lifting


76 Turbine Lifting

View more photographs of the complete process

We have a considerable about of photographs of the whole process.  These are well worth viewing to get a real appreciation of the complexity of the process.

Click on photo album to view thumbnails and then click thumbnail to see the full size images 

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