Moray West OWF set for geophysical and geotechnical site surveys

Offshore geophysical and geotechnical site investigations will soon begin at the Moray West offshore wind project in Scotland.

Ocean Observer. Courtesy of Gardline

The investigation will be carried out on the site located on the Smith Bank in the Outer Moray Firth, approximately 22.5 kilometres from the Caithness coastline, covering an area of approximately 225 square kilometres.

The works are anticipated to commence on, and no earlier than, 19 July 2022, and the survey duration is expected to be approximately six weeks.

The survey consists of two parts. For the first part, a geophysical survey will be conducted comprising a hull-mounted multi-beam echo sounder (MBES) and sub-bottom profiler (SBP) system, with towed side-scan sonar (SSS) and magnetometer and 2D Seismic arrays.

In the second part, approximately 85 geotechnical sites will be subject to cone penetration testing and vibro coring.

Site investigation operations will be carried out by the Gardline-operated survey vessel Ocean Observer while Titan Surveys’ Titan Discovery will be towing geophysical equipment (SSS and 2D seismic array).

The nearshore geophysical site investigations along the project’s export cable corridor were conducted in June.

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Moray West will comprise up to 85 turbines, two offshore substations, and a total of 65 kilometers of export cables that will transport the electricity from the project to a landfall location east of Sandend Bay on the Aberdeenshire Coast and further to the onshore substation.

The 850 MW offshore wind farm is expected to produce its first power in 2024.

Ocean Winds, a 50-50 joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, is developing the Moray West project.

Earlier this week, the project was awarded Contract for Difference (CfD) by the UK Government along with four other offshore wind farms.

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