Sea bed surveys analyse the sea bed environment of the proposed floating offshore wind farm site and export cable route to assess its geological condition and engineering characteristics. The data collected is utilised in a wide range of engineering and environmental studies through the design and development phase.
What it costs
About £4 million for a 450 MW floating offshore wind farm.
Who supplies them
CMS Geoscience, EGS, Fugro, Gardline, Horizon Geosciences and MMT.
Sea bed surveys consist of two main parts: non-invasive geophysical surveys of sea bed features and bathymetry, and invasive geotechnical surveys of the sea bed characteristics.
Sea bed surveys are an important component of the development process and aid several processes, such as optimising the mooring system designs and floating offshore wind farm layout, as well as minimising risk during installation activities.
Environmental and sea bed surveys and data collection (geotechnical and geophysical) can start five years or more before the planned operation of the floating offshore wind farm.
Offshore wind development typically requires more data collection over larger areas, but the technical approaches are like other sectors, such as oil and gas.
The move to auction-based systems, such as Contract for Differences (CfD) in the UK, has placed a greater emphasis on geological and hydrographical surveys as developers require greater cost (and hence design) certainty earlier in the development process.