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Remoteness is the biggest challenge for Wind Farms


The Republic of Ireland has 195 wind farms and recent figures show that in 2014 they produced 18% of Ireland's average electricity demand. Between 2011 and 2013, 49 (1) new wind farms were built and as planning permission has been granted for another 259 (2) since 2014, it's clear that renewable energy is here to stay.

When it comes to positioning wind farms, location is the key. Turbines work best when on high, exposed sites as far away from built up areas and busy roads as possible, and coastal areas are ideal (3). However, regulations surrounding the construction of these sites are getting tighter, and earlier this year, Ireland's Environment Minister (4) called for revisions to guidelines that would increase the distance between wind turbines and residential properties.

Yet it is this remoteness that presents the biggest challenge. Operations and maintenance buildings need to include site offices, storage, bathroom and eating facilities and, for very remote locations, even on-site accommodation and mobile welfare units, possibly with their own water supply. The buildings need to be comfortable for permanent and temporary staff to work in, yet also need to be able to withstand extreme weather conditions, often in a marine environment.

With an increased risk of vandalism, they also need on-site security facilities and an alarm system. So what kind of buildings fit these requirements while still complying with regulations?

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Portakabin buildings have the flexibility to comply with the toughest of requirements, they are robust and designed for re-location. These modular buildings are energy efficient and come with a range of secure design features, including galvanised steel, continuously welded joints, security shutters, insulation, fire protection, double glazing and emergency lighting. They can also be fitted with secure features such as concealed plumbing with no visible moving parts. All of which makes them comfortable and versatile, while meeting the needs of an exposed, remote location.

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