Offshore works have started off Aberdeen Bay in preparation for full construction of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).
The geotechnical site investigation will take place at each of the EOWDC’s 11 turbine locations to assess the seabed, with the data acquired being used to inform the final design and micro-siting of the turbine foundations. Full offshore construction is scheduled to start in late 2017 or early 2018, after an investment decision later this year.
Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), the partners behind Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited (AOWFL), said the work keeps the scheme on schedule for operations to start in 2018.
Andy Paine, head of UK offshore wind development for Vattenfall and project director for AOWFL, said: “The pioneering EOWDC will help establish the north east as a global centre of innovation for the offshore wind industry. It is through test and demonstration of next generation products and services that offshore wind will become a low cost sector.
“The preparatory works being carried out helps keep the project on schedule ahead of an investment decision later this year and first power in 2018. The partners are currently working on the basis of fully financing the more than £230mn scheme and want to see the project come to fruition.”
Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said “The EOWDC is a vital project for the North-east of Scotland and has reached an important point in its development. It will help to deliver significant and long-term economic benefits to the region and the opportunities for local energy companies will be substantial. The EOWDC will help to cement Aberdeen’s reputation as a global energy city and a world-leading centre for innovation. This is why the EOWDC has been a long-standing priority for AREG and this council.”
Fugro is carrying out the site investigation work on behalf of AOWFL. The company has mobilised one of its dynamically-positioned geotechnical drilling vessels, the Bucentaur, to the EOWDC site about 2km to 5km off Aberdeen’s coast. The work is due to be supplemented with geophysical surveys later this year.