In a drive towards greater efficiency and sustainability, a growing number of large manufacturing companies are exploring wind turbines as a key renewable energy source. Medical device manufacturer DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, has been working to embed sustainability firmly at the heart of its operations, with a commitment to power all facilities from renewable energy by 2050.
After successfully incorporating wind energy at its Cork site in 2014 – the first Johnson & Johnson site to install a wind turbine globally – DePuy Synthes appointed Arup to advise on the feasibility of a second turbine at its nearby facility in Loughbeg. Generating more than 32 million kilowatt-hours, DePuy Synthes’ initial turbine provides 35% of the site’s total electricity consumption, offsetting 14,000 tonnes of CO2.
Helping DePuy Synthes to achieve its aspirations to reduce carbon emissions and deliver energy savings at its second facility in Cork, Arup’s engineers and environmental and health and safety consultants investigated the site and recommended a suitable location for a wind turbine in line with the engineering, safety and environmental constraints. Building on this successful collaboration, Arup has been working to explore the installation of renewable energy solutions at other sites in Ireland.
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10GWhrspotential energy yield per annum
As the world’s largest, most broadly based healthcare company, we know that human health and environmental health are fundamentally linked – healthy people need a healthy planet. Installing wind turbines was a vital step on our journey towards achieving our climate goals, as well as contributing to our competitiveness through savings in energy costs. ” Dónal Óg Cusack Senior Engineering Manager, DePuy Synthes
Securing planning permission in a complex site
Ensuring that industrial wind energy projects deliver the best possible results requires careful planning in accordance with regulatory approvals. Arup’s planning and environmental consultants provided key technical advice on all aspects of the new turbine and prepared the planning application following consultation with all relevant bodies.
The unobtrusive operation of the existing wind turbines in Cork’s lower harbour was a reassurance to members of the public and the planning authority, and planning permission for the new turbine at Loughbeg was granted.
Arup also completed the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) application for licences to construct the wind turbines and generate energy. We successfully secured these licences, a statutory requirement before a generator of this size is connected to the grid.
Collaboration key to successful installation
The delivery phase of the project commenced in early 2018. Close collaboration with the client, management contractor, wind turbine vendor and other specialists was essential to deliver DePuy’s second wind turbine at Loughbeg, becoming operational in November 2018.
Arup’s environmental consultants provided ongoing support to help DePuy Synthes to achieve their sustainability objectives, including ecological monitoring and reporting to relevant authorities.
Arup’s civil engineers designed key balance of plant items, including the underground cable duct runs from the transformer at the base of the turbine tower to the adjacent production building.
To deliver the large turbine components to the site, our specialists analysed the swept paths and weights of the numerous haulage vehicles to determine the alignment of the temporary stone haul roads.
Arup’s electrical engineers worked closely with ten specialists to deliver the electrical balance of plant installation, including designing the underground and overground cables to connect into the DePuy site network and protection settings for the new circuit breaker. We also specified the Embedded Generator Interface Protection (EGIP) to ensure the correct operation of the turbine. This control system is required by ESB, a state-owned electricity company in Ireland, to prevent disturbances on the network.
Working with DePuy Synthes towards our common goal of ambitious climate action, Arup has ensured that this site will be powered by renewable energy for the next 20-25 years. ” John O’Mahony Europe Science Leader
Health and safety: mitigating potential risks on an active industrial site
Identifying and putting measures in place to avoid the potential health and safety risks was a priority from the outset. In our role as Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP), we tracked and advised on mitigating potential risks, including protocols for major crane lifts over the adjacent facility.
As it was a busy industrial site, Arup’s health and safety consultants collaborated with DePuy, the contractors and wind turbine vendor to create a comprehensive risk register for the design, construction and installation of the turbine. With numerous manufacturing facilities located nearby, this live document was updated by all collaborators and proved vital to ensure an incident-free project.