Mill Creek Wind Farm

Mill Creek  Mill Creek  Mill Creek

The challenge:

Providing energy through New Zealand-based renewable sources is high up on the list, but finding suitable land to build wind farms is no easy task, says Meridian Energy project manager Chris Jones.

“We jumped at the chance to purchase land from Ohariu Valley-based farm owners. It is a perfect spot to create our 26-turbine wind farm that will be capable for generating enough renewable energy to power 30,000 average kiwi homes.”

A remote location with roads into the site yet to be completed, means a slow two-hour drive for Meridian Energy staff working on establishing and operating the wind farm.  Chris says that he and his team were wasting valuable time going back and forth from the Wellington office, and the business was keen to find a solution that would allow staff to work on site during the 18-month long project operations.

The solution:

Chris says that he got in touch with Portacom Building Solutions who quickly came up with a practical building design that could deliver on the office space and site facilities required.

“It was made up of four ready-made modular buildings that could be connected on site to provide a large open plan working space, two offices, two meeting rooms, a kitchen, and ablution facilities,” he adds. “And to meet the needs of contractors coming onto site, we are able to hire a toilet block as well as another separate building that acts as a meeting point, induction and ‘smoko’ room.”

At the peak of it’s construction, Mill Creek will have up to 125 full time contractors on any given day, with around 900 employees in total.  “Portacom Building Solutions gives us the flexibility we are after - we can increase or decrease our facilities to meet worker needs and at the same time only pay for what we need.”

Adrian Withell, Portacom Building Solutions territory sales manager for the lower North Island explains that the buildings were constructed at its Auckland-based manufacturing base in just under four weeks before being transported it to the Mill Creek wind farm by large trucks.”

“We prepared the site during this time, installing piles and sewer lines, and ensuring the plumbing and drainage was ready to go for when the modular buildings arrived on site.”

The result:

Meridian Energy staff are saving hours of travel time and can operate more effectively by being on site, dealing with issues as they arise and speeding up the project build. Chris finishes by saying,

“The Portacom Building Solutions team have been a delight to work with; they have delivered facilities that have exceeded our expectations.  And the best part is that we can make use of the buildings when Mill Creek is complete - plans are already in place to move buildings to our new West Wind farm in Makara.”