When the time came for main contractor Morrison Construction/ Galliford Try appoint a contractor to install the electrical infrastructure for the prestigious Olympic white water rafting course SPEC was the first choice.
Located between the towns of Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire and Waltham Abbey in Essex, the site is in the heart of River Lee Country Park which is part of the 10,000-acre (40 km2), 26-mile (42 km) long Lee Valley Park. The venue has a purpose-built slalom course for the Olympic white-water canoe events (flat-water canoeing and kayaking events took place at Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire west of London). The main competition channel is an international – and Olympic-standard 300-metre canoe and kayak slalom course. It and the shorter warm-up course empty into the warm-up and cool-down lake. The white water is created by a system of pumps which lift water into the two start pools.
The electrical installation is technically challenging with remote variable frequency drives (VFD) to huge pumps capable of delivering the quanitites of water required. SPEC installed all the power and control cabling from the control centre panels to the main equipment locations and pump houses across the site.
The 300-metre competition course has a drop of 5.5 metres (18 ft), for an average slope of 1.8% (18 m/km or 95 ft/mile) and a pump-powered streamflow of 13 cubic metres per second (460 cubic feet per second).The intermediate/warm-up course is 160 metres long with a drop of 1.6 metres and flow of 10.5 cubic metres per second. A 10,000-square-metre lake, filled with groundwater, supplies the water for the pumps.
The course is sited within a new landscaped parkland setting, including path and bridge networks to enable spectators to have access and view the events. SPEC also installed both CCTV and course lighting within the complex. A new facility building houses reception, café, changing rooms, shop, offices, spectator viewing, equipment storage and water pump and filtration facilities. The venue opened in late 2010 offering canoeing and rafting activities to the public ahead of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.