EDINBURGH, UK — The West of Orkney Windfarm consortium has completed 2022 offshore surveys for the project area, 25 km north of the Sutherland coast, northern Scotland.
Partners in the 2-GW project are Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG). They aim to deliver first electricity by 2029.
This year’s campaign comprised geophysical and benthic surveys of the seabed across the 657-sq-km offshore option agreement area to establish the project ground model and habitats map, and nearshore geophysical and geotechnical surveys along the offshore cable corridors.
According to Stephen Kerr, project director of the West of Orkney Windfarm, the geotechnical campaign included 50 cone penetration tests and 50 vibrocores along the cable route, with the nearshore survey vessels covering in total more than 500 km.
Seabed surveys started in April, with Ocean Infinity deploying its vessels, MV Relume and MV Geo-Ranger, operating out of Scrabster Harbour.
The same contractor performed the shallow geotechnical work on the cable corridor while Spectrum managed the nearshore geophysical survey using its vessels Spectrum 1 and Spectrum Nyquist and a photogrammetry aerial drone.
HiDef Aerial Surveying conducted bird and marine mammal surveys using high-resolution digital cameras mounted on an aircraft.
In January, the West of Orkney Windfarm secured the rights to an area of seabed from the Crown Estate Scotland in the highly competitive ScotWind process. Management plans to submit onshore and offshore consent applications next summer.