Renewable Energy

GCS Water and Environmental Divisions have combined with GCS Geotechnical and other specialist service providers to provide a specialised renewable energy unit within the GCS Group of companies.

Multi-disciplinary feasibility- and design-level investigations are essential to provide planning and bankable quality information by:

  • Investigating subsurface conditions and materials
  • Determining the relevant physical/mechanical and chemical properties of these materials
  • Assessing risks posed by site conditions
  • Designing earthworks and structural foundations
  • Monitoring site conditions, earthworks and foundation construction
  • Ensure a sustainable water supply as these schemes are often remote and not connected to a municipal grid


The GCS Renewable Energy Unit draws its experience from a number of different divisions within the company including Geotechnical, Water, Waste, Environmental and GIS. Typical renewable energy projects begin with a review of project needs to define the required material properties. From there follows a site investigation of soil, rock, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest to determine their engineering properties including how they will interact with, on, or in a proposed construction.


Services offered include:

    • Feasibility Studies and Site Investigations for solar and wind farms.
    • Detailed geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical data are often a notable unknown factor in the design and operation of renewable energy projects, the lack of which may pose a significant risk to the project. GCS offers a phased and systematic approach towards site assessment, implementation and construction supervision and the identification and mitigation of geotechnical constraints.
    • Site Investigations including test pitting, auger boreholes, borehole drilling, in-situ sampling and testing, penetrometer testing including DPL, DCP, DPSH and CPTu
    • Geophysical Surveys including resistivity, magnetic, electromagnetic, seismic, GPR and gravity surveys
    • Permeability testing including percolation tests, double ring infiltrometer and Lefranc
    • Geotechnical drilling and in situ borehole testing including SPTs, pressure meter, Lugeon/Packer tests
    • Plate-load tests and compaction assessment for founding conditions
    • All associated laboratory testing and analysis for disturbed and undisturbed samples
    • Environmental and water use authorisations
    • Government Liaison
    • Public participation


Fields of experience

  • Geotechnical investigation and foundation design
  • In situ testing of PV solar posts by indicative “pull-out” testing and analysis
  • EIA reporting
  • WULA applications
  • General authorisation applications
  • Visual realisation through GIS techniques
  • Hydrogeological studies to determine availability and quantification of groundwater resources
  • Water supply turn key and implementation
  • Hydrological investigations for stormwater management and flood risk assessments
  • Centreline investigations for the access roads, pipeline and cable trenches and powerline routes to the national grid
  • Dolomite Stability and Undermining Investigations
  • Housing developments (NHBRC registered) for local community workers
  • Materials Assessments and Usage
  • Ground Improvement
  • Dam and Water Engineering
  • Optimisation of operational water management and water footprint