Solar Farm – Cambridgeshire

Omnia were commissioned by our client to undertake a targeted site investigation comprising shallow borehole drilling and in-situ CBR testing to support the upgrading of site infrastructure at a Solar Farm in Cambridgeshire, England.

With energy becoming paramount, more and more developments of varying sizes, are looking for planning permissions which not only require Geotechnical, but Acoustics, Ecology, Air Quality and Geo-Environmental assessments (amongst many others) to determine their suitability and impact upon the existing and future environment.


A series of new electricity substations and haulage roads were proposed at the subject site, with the aim of replacing the old substations and thereby improving the efficiency and output of the Solar Farm.

Information was required on the in-situ strength of the shallow ground at the site to help inform the foundation design of the substation housing structures as well as to inform the pavement construction of the access haulage roads across the site.

Being an active Solar Farm, the site represented a particular challenge with regards to breaking ground at a site with a very high abundance of live underground services.

Scope of Works:

Omnia carried out a total of six (6no.) windowless sampler boreholes to a maximum depth of 4m bgl across the site, targeted in areas of proposed substation upgrades, as well as a total of nine (9no.) in-situ Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) tests to a maximum depth of 0.9m bgl.

All investigation positions required sub surface service scanning and avoidance to ensure that no intrusive works would be impacted by encountering live services.

In-situ strength data was recorded in all Windowless Sampler drilling location via SPT testing, and in all DCP locations by conversion of the DCP test results into equivalent CBR results.

Ground conditions were also recorded through the drilling profile via logging of the arisings in line with BS5930 by the Omnia engineer.


All data from the site investigation was reported to Omnia’s client via a Factual Report, which could be passed to the relevant designers and structural engineers and used to ensure that the site upgrades were designed to the highest standards

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Speak to an Expert

Will Bennet 

Principal Geo-Environmental Consultant