Wind Farm Developers Testing Sea Bed Off Dorset And Hampshire

12 August 2014, 07:22

The company which wants to build a massive wind farm off the South Coast is spending £1.3 million testing the sea bed.

Navitus Bay is currently undertaking a further site investigation off the Dorset and Hampshire coast.
This latest investigation, which involves drilling bore holes into the sea bed and extracting cores of the sea bed material, will help inform the most suitable type of foundation. The foundation is the structure on which the wind turbines will be supported above the sea.
In order to undertake this work, which started earlier in August 2014, Navitus Bay has contracted Horizon Geosciences Ltd, the geotechnical survey specialists based in Bristol. This is a £1.3million contract placed with a UK supplier and directly benefiting the UK economy.
The site investigation is being conducted by a vessel named Horizon GeoBay. The vessel is fitted with special water jets that hold it stationary in the water, allowing very accurate drilling of the sea bed over a range of tidal swells.
The offshore works involves obtaining 15 sets of soil samples from the sea bed, drilling bore holes of varying depths to help better understand the character of the sea bed.
This survey comes shortly after Navitus Bay had its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).
Mike Unsworth, Project Director at Navitus Bay, said:

“In parallel with seeking consent for the project, it is vital that we continue to gather additional information about the site conditions to help inform our detailed design of the proposed offshore wind park. This new survey will complement the existing wealth of information and data.
“This latest investigation is the next step in the process of engineering an optimum design for the wind turbine foundations.
“We are pleased to be working with Horizon and have every confidence that the team will provide us with all the data we need.”