Case Studies

Acoustic Enclosures Moray East Substation

Acoustic Enclosures Moray East Substation

Client: Siemens Energy
Location: Moray East Onshore Substation near New Deer
Project: Three Supergrid Transformer Acoustic Enclosures
Value: £1.3m
Project Manager: Phil Bowers


Moray East Onshore Substation near New Deer in Aberdeenshire is the onshore substation for the Moray East offshore Wind Farm. It was the biggest single construction project in Scotland and now fully operational provides its contracted 900MW of electricity onto the National Grid network. Work on the onshore substation began in 2019.

There are 100 offshore turbines and each has a maximum turbine blade-tip height of 204m and are a minimum of 22 km from the shore. The whole area of the wind farm is 295km2 – which equates to over 55,000 football pitches.

In terms of statistics, the overall project can now deliver 40% of Scotland’s electricity, save 1.7 million tons of CO2 every year and power 1.43 million homes throughout the UK. Including the underground cable that was installed from the landfall to the site, there are over 500 kilometres of cable installed across the site.

The task of the Acoustic Enclosure is an important one. Firstly, it has to reduce the noise to an agreed level for such a remote rural location with low background low frequency noise pollution, AND to allow the attenuated ventilation built into the enclosure to keep the transformer within design working temperatures, even on hot summer days.

The project took around six months on site and you can see the site before our work here.

Moray East Acoustic Enclosure before construction began from the air

The work

The main part of the transformer is about 8 metres long, 5 metres wide and 5 metres high (not including the HV bushings that protrude from the top, or the dedicated oil cooler bank outside the enclosure) and they weigh around 300 tonnes.

The enclosure works so well for this application as it is robustly constructed for a 40year life with minimal maintenance – even in the harshest of weather conditions. Even the enclosure’s ventilation design for this huge 60kW heat rejection has no moving parts to minimise the maintenance requirement.

Our work began with the steelwork, which is always a quick process as everything is prepared and drilled off site to very tight tolerances to ensure a perfect fit and finish when the install begins.

With the steelwork completed and signed off, the external cladding comes next. The whole structure has been designed to meet the stringent noise reduction requirements, whilst allowing the transformers to work within their normal operating temperatures – rain or shine.

The last thing to be fitted is the roof. It’s one of the most complex elements of the design and build process and when you look at it, it’s obvious why. The High Voltage and Low Voltage bushings that protrude from the top of the SGT, make it a complex jigsaw to design an enclosure that will not only enclose it, but perform effectively too.

The enclosure was designed with handrail sockets around the perimeter of the enclosure to enable high level edge protection scaffold hand rail installation without the need for a full scaffold. Internally we also installed a permeant man safe system in the roof above the transformer to enable ease of maintenance on the transformer itself.

The interior lighting was a challenge too, with a brief to achieve the same Lux levels on the top of the transformer to match the specified lux levels at floor level. To avoid any issues with changing fixings at high level for future maintenance, the inside of the enclosure was powder coated in high gloss white to create a highly reflective surface and draw the light down to floor level. We designed the lighting in such a way that the fittings could all be installed at a low level, but angled to achieve the minimum lux levels on top of the tank, even with the shadows taken into account.

Here are the enclosures under construction.

Project Management

The project was managed by Phil Bowers who has led on acoustic projects across the UK

“This was a big and quite complicated project. It was held up by Covid for a short time which could have caused issues, but we worked around the challenges and got back on track as soon as we were allowed back on site.

Being part of enormous national infrastructure projects like this are a great challenge. It’s been designed for a minimum 40 year life and whilst I hope it doesn’t outlive me, I will be very old when it reaches the end of its design life. I’m sure by then we will be looking at a very different provision and energy production is likely to be a very different animal altogether.

I was very proud of how the project finished and there are over a million homes likely to benefit from our work, with cheaper, green electricity.”


This Turnkey project involved the following trades:- three acoustic enclosures for Super Grid Transformers

– Prefabrication of all parts of the acoustic enclosure and steel framework
– Agreed performance specification achieved
– Small power and lighting
– Temporary and permanent man safe, fall restraint systems

Here’s one of the finished acoustic enclosures.

Acoustic enclosure for Moray East completed by Kimpton

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