Case Study


Project manager
SSE Renewables


Viking Energy, a subsidiary of SSE Renewables, is working with RJ McLeod (Contractors) Limited on a major infrastructure project in Shetland. The project involves building a new 1.4 mile roadway. The 103 wind turbines that will make up the Viking Wind Farm project, which is centered on Shetland's central mainland, will be supported by this infrastructure in terms of component supply. Additionally, it will make it easier to supply parts for SSE Networks' Shetland HVDC link project, which will provide Shetland's first connection to the larger national electrical grid.


The new road had to be next to the current one due to topographical and land limits, and an alignment was created based on these requirements. Following a ground examination, it was discovered that three parts of the proposed alignment had substantial peat deposits, with pockets as deep as five meters. It was determined that in order to fully establish a new road using the manual method used for conventional roadways, a significant amount of peat would need to be dug. In this case, it was deemed not to be a sustainable choice.


Leca® LWA was found to be the ideal option because of its inert chemical and porous nature, as well as its ease of installation—it can be laid using a truck and excavator—and its broad usage in the UK, particularly on the M8 in Glasgow and the Queensferry Crossing. Its weight is also far less than that of conventional fill material, and after evaluation, it was determined that using it would allow for the safe construction of embankments as needed and would also restrict long-term road settling to levels appropriate for implementation.

Sandwater Road construction has included the successful installation of Leca® LWA. The utilization of it made it possible to float all three deep peat portions, greatly minimizing the operations' environmental impact.




Viking Energy was keen to make sure that the construction of this new highway would not result in any major or intolerable environmental consequences, particularly with regard to the landscape, biodiversity (wildlife and ecology), geology, cultural heritage, noise pollution, air quality, traffic, and transportation.
In order to create a lightweight floating road structure, 5500m3 of LECA® LWA was required. The material was judged appropriate to offer the required technical support for the challenging groundwork conditions where the highway was planned to be built because of its lightweight and strong character.

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