Last week, VBMS' Nearshore & Repair division, specialised in shallow water and intertidal area projects, installed 2,300 metres of power cable under Wast Water Lake to upgrade the power supplies to the local community to help ensure they have a reliable power supply now and in the future. VBMS carried out the project for T&K Gallagher Ltd, as part of their frame work agreement with Electricity North West.
The lake, overseen and protected by the National Trust and Natural England, is located in a valley in the western part of the Lake District National Park and, at 79 metres, is the deepest and clearest in England. A higher level of due diligence was required to avoid any pollution of the lake, which included controls to avoid any introduction of sediment. All machinery was filled with biodegradable oil, was washed down and disinfected and silt bunds were installed to prevent mud washing down into the lake. In order to comply with strict environmental regulations, VBMS deployed special work boats fitted with electrical outboard engines. Due to the remote area the project also required VBMS to deploy small cable drums and winches and therefore install the cable in two separate lengths.
Electricity North West’s Operations Director Martin Deehan said, “The time is right to proactively replace sections of the power cable, to help ensure the local residents and businesses receive the essential power they need for years to come. This is an incredibly difficult job due to the extremely remote location and sensitive area. The lake itself is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest as is a large area of the scree slopes alongside. We have been working closely with the local community and they have showed us great support towards the work we are doing in the area.”
The two cables will be joint together and energised in November 2016 by Electricity North West alongside an underground cable installed by T&K Gallagher Ltd.