Preparatory survey work on four new floating offshore wind farms has been completed in the North Sea.
Edinburgh-based BlueFloat Energy and Renantis Partnership commissioned marine infrastructure services and survey experts Acteon to map and analyse the composition and structure of the seabed at its floating offshore wind sites.
These are the 900MW Broadshore scheme, 50km north of Fraserburgh and the 1200MW Bellrock array, 120km east of Aberdeen.
The survey work also included the Partnership’s two 99MW innovation projects, Sinclair and Scaraben which lie adjacent to Broadshore and were secured in the Crown Estate Scotland’s INTOG auction earlier this year.
The Ocean Fortune vessel (pictured) designed specifically for year-round operations in the North Sea, was mobilised from Peterhead.
The surveys were carried out by Acteon’s offshore site investigation services team, with onshore support provided by the company’s operations centre in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, and its data centre in Livingston, West Lothian.
BlueFloat Energy and Renantis Partnership portfolio director David Robertson said: “An extensive analysis of the seabed conditions is a key part of the journey to delivering commercial scale floating offshore wind and as well as surveying our two ScotWind projects, we have been able to adapt this scope of works to include our two innovation projects secured via the INTOG leasing round earlier this year.
“One of the main benefits of floating wind farms is that projects can be sited further out to sea in deeper waters with stronger wind conditions.
“Our Bellrock project will be one of the furthest offshore wind farms in the world and this analysis of the seabed composition is crucial in building up our knowledge of what is possible, helping to shape and inform the designs going forward.”
Executive vice president at Acteon’s data and robotics division Sudhir Pai added: “We are delighted to have supported the partnership in this groundbreaking work to develop floating wind projects in Scotland.
“Our early involvement provided data interpretation services to help all the teams involved in the project understand the seafloor composition and structure, enabling informed decisions about layout, designs and equipment that will best suit the conditions.”
The data collected by Acteon is now being used to build up a detailed picture of the sites, identifying seabed features and any potential hazards and feeding into a model of the seabed.
It will also refine the project boundaries and guide decisions on turbine layouts and the design of the foundations and moorings.